Dentists and Autism
The following comment was orgionally posted on http://autism.about.com/b/a/257583.htm concering Autisitc kids and getting them to brush. This is an open public fourm, thus my comment on their site are not and endorsement of their point of view or mine.
From the Dark ages of Autism, when Autism was keen senses the preferance to be alone ,and odd strange mannor, a splinter skill, a pain tolerance and a time when good behavior was the only thing that was tolerated -it was not the autism it really was the child! Autism was NOT diagnosable in this era unless it was severe.
It was 1966 and my first visit to the denist office. Autistically I was terrified. The noise of the place the squeak of my body on the denists chair ,the nearness of the dentist ,a stranger and the nurse. That cold chain around my neck and that Loud Paper bib were all good for a few too many magic moments. By the time the polisher started I lost it ,between the denitist laying his arm on my head and the viberation and the noise and even the recptionist laughing on the phone with a high pitched squeal I lost it.
Dr Seeds, Pickerington Ohio, was never the same again, I was refered to Dr Alpers of Columbus a children’s denist, whom I visited for many years to follow. Keep in mind we never heard of the word Autism and in this era GOOD behavior was always demanded and expected, even my (our) autism behavior was accepctable if not very good. In fact I was punished a bit for acting up at the densits office. But , I think dad realized it was bit more than me causing trouble so I wasn’t grounded too badly. Dr Alpers ,going there was a ’special effort’ and if he could not clam down the child enough he put the kid in twlight so he could work, that was VERY expensive and Mom always complained of the cost thus I learned to handle the noise the feelings of the stranger near me etc.
Interestingly , the autism Pain tolerance was visable to with a cavity,, He had the hook type tool in the tooth and it was literally hanging there and he said do you feel that? I never felt a thing! Dr Alpers called in his nurse and said look ‘Martha’ here is another one with no pain, as they discussed other patients that had the same trouble.
Many of us in our group have the first real dental pain in our 30’s with and abcess tooth. It never hurts until about 15 minutes before the tooth breaks and then we are on the way to the ER and for some of us this is the first real pain we felt in our lives. typically the car hits a bump and the tooth breaks and the pain INSTANTLY goes away! We are left with a broken tooth.
Our Autism group of Temple Grandin’s that figured out all of this stuff and even devised tests for the pain tolerance and ways to handle our active senses explain these pre rain man ideals in our books that Autism will not allow to be published.
Not only is or story odd ,our behavior was very good to perfect, our learning experience is one that absently everyone participiated in- and it absently worked and in effect our double blind autism experience is not favorable news or the results Modern Autism needs or wants to know about we are bad for the post Rain Man buzz word empire off today. We unintentionally shake up the status quoe of autism.
Rich Shull http://prerainmanautism.blogspot.com
Comment by Rich Shull — July 27, 2006 @ 9:21 am