A Special Child gets a makeover
Natalie has been my patient for several years now. I have treated Natalie, her sister Amanda and her mum Jenny, for quite a while. .. Natalie is autistic.
At first Natalie was quite difficult to treat. Getting her into the dental chair took some coaxing at first. Many early visits used to be just talking and coaxing her to sit still and let me look into her mouth!
It’s been some months now where Natalie would cheerily come into the clinic and bounce into the dental chair. She’d only giggle and squirm a little bit, before sitting back, to let me do a clean up for her and check her for fillings.
Gone are the days when Natalie was a difficult patient, so it was with a secretly sinking heart, I heard myself say to Jenny (Natalie’s mum) ….
“Jenny, since Natalie has begun to dress up and be conscious of her appearance, what do you think about correcting her smile?”
Oh no … what did I just say and get myself into? This is an autistic teenager!! Can I do this??!
You see, Natalie has a rather ‘goofy’ smile. Her teeth are set apart and awry and I knew there was absolutely no way that she could have braces done for her …. no way, Jose!
I can’t imagine Natalie getting moulds taken of her teeth, removing her premolars and then later sitting still for an hour or so for the brackets to be placed … then of course was the monthly tune-ups to move the teeth!
It just wasn’t possible for an autistic teenager!
Natalie has begun to take pride in her dressing … like Amanda, she and her sister always are dressed up with cute outfits, matching accessories and shoes.
Imagine what a great difference it would make for her self esteem! I just had to do it … if Jenny says yes and Natalie allows it of course. They left and promised to be back with another family with an autistic child this week.
Jenny reminded me of my promise today, when Natalie and Amanda came in ….along with Marcus Yau (yet another autistic child I treat), his sister Catherine and their mother Sharon Yau.
The room was full of kids and two special-needs autistic children and there I was going to do a makeover on one of them! …. my clinic nurses looked at me in disbelief!
I just smiled, tilted my head and, bless them, they got all the necessary equipment ready …. this was going to be a challenge!
We worked like lightning … with everyone around us to give support … even Marcus was next to Natalie!
In absolutely record time Natalie’s makeover was done! Sharon and Jenny were amazed! … secretly, I was amazed too … we did it!!!!!
Natalie looked in the mirror and giggled and giggled and giggled.
I took her photos whilst she posed for the camera … I had to be super quick though because she kept moving into different poses, laughing and giggling!
What an amazing moment!
This is a moment I will cherish for a long, long time … today I get to make a special teen beautiful!
Today I am fairy godmother and the tooth fairy all rolled into one … I got to contribute to one special person.
I absolutely LOVE my job! 😉