Sensory Processing At The Optometrist

Hello my wonderful readers,

It’s such a beautiful day; It’s been so hot, with very little rain here in Ontario, Canada. So today we took Cam to the Optometrist, because he broke his glasses, and needed a full exam anyway because his yearly checkup in March when everything was cancelled due to the corona-virus.

As you all know by now, or if you are new to my crazy house, my son Cam just turned 16. He has extreme anxiety about everything, SPD-sensory processing disorder and ODD-Oppositional defiant disorder. So undoubtedly he was very anxious about going to the appointment. Number one it was an appointment where he would be faced with answering questions, feeling uncomfortable sights, sounds, smells etc. Number two, it is literally both our first time leaving our home, besides walking the dogs, in the last five months we’ve been self-isolating.

He had his meltdown which was not as bad as usual; he is getting better at controlling them, he just went up to his room had a good cry than played his video games for two hours (which calms him down and is an excellent tool to self regulate himself).

With a lot of reassuring, he got into the shower and let me wash his hair without a fight, which was surprising. He is so tall now. Hope he is done growing or else I don’t know what I’m going to do. He has a shower chair but has been refusing to use it for some reason. He got himself dressed all on his own and came to the car willingly without much bribing. **v-bucks may have been mentioned**, but all in all, we got into the car, so a win!

At the Optometrist, the procedure was that we arrive in the parking lot 15 minutes before the appointment and call in to confirm we are there. So of course when we get there, the phones are busy so we are waiting…

Finally, get through to them and they tell us when it’s our turn someone will come out and get us. While waiting cam is anxious, so we talk and vlog his first day out, appearing soon on our tammyandhercrazyhouse YouTube channel. He jokes about wearing his bandana over his whole face including covering his eye, which eases his anxiety.

Finally, someone comes out and says he can not wear his bandana that clearly coverts his chin, mouth and nose, and most importantly he is comfortable wearing it.

Instead he put’s on a disposable mask that is to small for his large face to please them so he can go in. This was not easy. We sat in the car for another ten minutes while he sniffed the mask, tried it on a couple of times, rubbed the mask all over his arms, face, hands so it was no longer sanitised at all.

We get in and they took his temperature and Purell‘d our hands, which we did ourselves before entering, nonetheless we did it again. and started the examination. Of course, he was not keeping the disposable mask on correctly. He was pulling it off his ears, pulling his nose out. with constant cues and reminding, we made it through the whole examination. We also picked out new glasses! I would of felt calmer had he worn the bandana but at some points, he did wear both.

I was very impressed that he was able to clearly answer all their questions and cooperated so well. He is growing up so much and his communication skills are improving every day. This may sound silly but I was blown away that after 16 years of practicing communication skills and years of speech therapy a stranger actually was having a two-way conversation with him that was clearly understood. I wanted to cry I was so overwhelmed. Even with the overly stressed Optometrist rushing around and literally measuring his staff with a measuring tape to make sure they were keeping their distance, through it all Cam was still able to keep his cool.

All in all it was a great experience and a great first day out with what seems to be our new normal for the moment. I have faith things will get better and less stressful but in the meantime, I’m embracing the changes of our world and of my children.

Thank you for reading, Thank you for subscribing and if you have not already, please take a peek at our vlog’s and be a part of our family journey 🙂

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