It’s such a fine balance when it comes to telling a child with Autism something that’s’ going to cause any type of anxiety. It doesn’t matter if the anxiety is waiting for a package to show up in the mail or knowing they are getting a flu shot.
Speaking to my personal experience, my wife and I try very hard to limit situations like this whenever possible.
There are times in which it isn’t possible or we make the mistake to saying something a head of time with the goal of preparing them for an upcoming event, either good or bad. We are currently dealing with two kids who are terrified of getting their flu shots. most kids don’t like shots but they are a very important part of maintaining one’s health, especially when a family member has a severely compromised immune system.
The boys knew a head of time about their flu shots because they were at the last appointment when we scheduled them.
What changed is that we can probably get the flu shots done while we’re at the immunologist today, so they don’t have to dread it for the rest of the week. They were originally scheduled for this Thursday but if we can get it done today, the boys won’t have to stress out over it for the rest of the week.
That didn’t go as planned and now both boys, especially Elliott, are totally freaked out. Elliott doesn’t want to go to school because he’s going to be freaking out but he’s going to school. They are only going half a day but they need to be there so they miss as little as possible.
The appointment is about an hour drive each way and the drive up isn’t going to be much fun. The only way through this is to make it through. Once it’s done, the boys will be fine. It’s the anticipation that’s hard on them. They tend to move on pretty quick once they’ve reach the other side of the tunnel.
I wish I had advice to offer you in regards to situations like these but every child is different and frankly, you know your kids better than anyone else. My goal is simply to share my experience and perhaps you can avoid the pitfalls I’ve discovered.