As the title suggests, I was wondering during how your kids on the spectrum deal with anxiety. I’m taking Elliott, my 6 year old aspie to the doctors to make sure he doesn’t have an ear infection.
No shots or blood work will be involved but Elliott is having an anxiety attack anyway.
It’s the simple idea of going to the doctor that sets Jim into an panic. I don’t even tell him we’re going until the last minute so he’s doesn’t have a lot of time to worry. If I don’t tell him where we are going than he will have trust issues with me and I certainly don’t want that.
I don’t know how to help him work through this.
I’ve tried talking to him many times, even when we weren’t going to the doctor. I wanted to find out if there is any one thing that makes him nervous.
He never says why, he just doesn’t want to go. Maybe it’s sensory. Maybe it’s the smell or the lighting.
Anyone have any advice or personal experience with this? Any of my autistic adults friends able to shed some light onto this for me. I just want to help my son.
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Hey L&T, I have a 10-year-old Aspie son. He’s the same way. When he was younger we would have to hold him down to get any kind of shots. He’s outgrown it to an extent, but we still have complete meltdowns/anxiety attacks over unexpected routine changes, etc. I do the same thing: give him a tiny bit of notice. Like you, I CAN’T bring myself to not tell him things and break trust, but longer notice doesn’t help. At. All.
Still. I keep thinking he’s going to outgrow it completely one of these days. Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. My husband is also an Aspie, and we didn’t know until my son was diagnosed 3 years ago. He’s (my hubby) has outgrown – or he would say, learned to control – most of his anxiety about change.
Sorry I don’t have much wisdom. My best advice is to love him through it. Talk to him when he’s calm, let him know he can always trust you. He might not be able to act on that knowledge in the middle of an attack – but deep down he’ll know it. I think it helps. I know it helps. My son says so when he’s able.
Have you tried giving him really tight hugs? Some kids on the spectrum hate that, some love it. My son often asks his dad or I to lay on top of him to give him the calming deep pressure he needs. Often, it’s the only thing that will calm him down when he’s melting.
Anyway, just keep fighting. You’re not alone. :-/
I get anxious around the doctors no matter if I”m going in for blood work or a check up or just review of lab results. If I could help offer advice for this, I would, but all I can do is try to focus on deep breathing and try to relax a bit. A lot easier said than done though.
@Silachan thanks 🙂 I appreciate your honesty. 🙂