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Flu shot time

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Are shots a problem for your kids? Any tips on how to get through the ordeal?


Dd can't have the mist because of respiratory issues. Last year was, I'll just say, difficult. She knows she's got to get the vaccination and is holding out hope that this year she can get the mist, and I've told her it is up to the doctor which she receives. If she knew it was certain to be a shot, she'd never consent to go.


We have arranged to have ABA immediately before time to leave, so we'll walk out of the house with the BCBA.


We have arranged a treat for immediately after the appointment.


The office has been warned.


Anything else we can do to make this better?

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Can the BCBA go with you?  I have had a BCaBA go with me to the dentist.  We scheduled it with her.


Um, we don't do treats "after the appointment" if I think it is going to be bad.  I have taken a sleeve of Oreos into the room and had them for *immediately after the shot.* It is not pretty but I have had some bad doctor appointments before.  If a sleeve of Oreos makes things go better then I will do it.


Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Whatever happens, you will get through it, it can only last so long!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  


I take a treat for myself for in the car, either a magazine or a drink or a snack ----- if I am exhausted when I get back to the car, I may need something right then.  


And do pray and stay upbeat yourself, and try to send positive body language and tone messages.  It can help.  It is not a solution -- but it can really help.  


We also have a mini-DVD (we do not have other electronics) and I have rented a new video for an appointment.  I try to have that, a sticker book, etc.  It is counterproductive to have too much, but sometimes something that is new can be a good distraction.  


I have a stash that I save for difficult-er times, right now it is mostly sticker books for the 20 minutes my son sits in the main church service with me before going to Childrens Church.  My son can do well with new things, so I have some things I get and know they will go into that stash.  I keep it in the top of the hall closet.  


If you have never done cards like Pokemon ---- they might have some that a girl like.  We don't *do* them with my son (my older son has) but I have a pile of Y-Gi-Oh cards someone gave me, that I only keep in that stash, and I can just hand them to my son one at a time for a little bit ----- it can really buy a small break sometimes.  


It has been a little while since I have taken food into the office, and then *that doesn't work with the dentist* and then it is not great in general ----- but I have no regrets.  It is easier on all of us and all of us would have a better day when I did that.  


Separately -- my son had a program for "getting ready for the dentist" in ABA and they did things like practice holding his mouth open, and then we bought an oral hygiene kit that came with a little mirror, and would practice letting that go near his mouth.  So we had a longish-term program for that.  So if there are any parts of the visit that are a problem, but also routine things, then you can ask about a program for them later.  That helps me b/c I think to myself "it will never be this bad again, and oh, I am collecting baseline data."  

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Hmmm. You're thinking a treat after a bad appointment will reward the behavior? That makes sense. The BCBA was with me when we came up with the idea, but she may not have realized how bad it was likely to be. I can't talk about this stuff in front of dd or it causes a bad reaction.


Technically, the treat afterwards was supposed to be a reward for doing other stuff last night. It's an activity dd has been looking forward to which couldn't be scheduled at an earlier time. It just fit into the schedule after the appointment today, and I figured it would give dd something else to think about-- ABA, (shot), ACTVITY!


We've already had a big meltdown today. Maybe I can find something for a distraction in the office, but I don't want to reward the bad stuff. What a day. Thanks for the ideas, I appreciate the support and sounding board.

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I honestly would not worry about how the appointment goes and trying to be following the behavior plan.  


This is me being honest.


We do not have a lot of doctor appointments or shots ------ I am just trying to get through the day.  I will do whatever I think will help get through the day.


It is not a regular occurrence for us.  


i just want to get through it as painlessly as possible for everyone involved.  


Now ---- it is true I don't want to set up a horrible, impossible precedent..... but if there is not a program in place to prepare for a visit, I would be going "okay, we know about this visit, what can we do to prepare for this visit" for 2 months ahead of time or whatever.  


Doctor/dentist programs remain as permanent programs (not constant but reviewed) for some kids -- we thought  my son was going to be like that with the dentist program but now it seems he does not need it anymore.  But he spent 5 minutes doing the dental program interspersed in his other ABA programs, here and there, for about 2 years.  


If we *haven't done the programs* then I just do not think it is fair to expect him to do awesome for a rare, difficult appointment.  I will just try to get through it.


If this does not sound like your situation -------- then honestly, I would ask the BDBA what she thinks is a reasonable goal for your daughter, how best to support your daughter, if you can *give* a little for this, or maybe you really shouldn''t, etc.  I would ask this.  


I think, to be honest, it is a good sign if your BCBA is not going "do you  need me to go to the appointment with you?"  do you know what I mean/  LIke, at this point I could ask for a doctors visit but I don't need to.  I don't need to for a dentist visit.  But I am in a good place with it.  


But if there is something you think will work, I think -- do it.  Don't worry too much about making it a teaching opportunity or moment to grow.  If you see she needs a teaching opoortunity or moment to grow ----- let that happen first in the comfort of her own home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is my opinion.  She  may not *need* that and it is already a reasonable expectation.


You may already be doing really good with your plan -- it may be totally appropriate.


But for me, as much as I am overall a strict adherent, I would just not be that strict on a shot day.  I would be like ---- who cares what anybody thinks, I want this to go as smoothly as possible for a child.  It is a bit of a given it wijll probably not be perfect and we may get looks.  So what.  If we see there is work to do ----- let's see what went poorly and ask the BCBA to design a program for that.  


But I think really -- you have a BCBA  ------ very likely she knows your daughter and has experience with other kids and with doctor/dentist visit programs ----- she can tell you if your daughter just needs a Social Story and she really should be good, or maybe she really does know the expectations and have the ability to meet them, and you just need to be confident in your approach and have a steely resolve to get through any difficult moments.  I think that the BCBA might know!  If you are newer and you haven't mentioned this kind of thing to the BCBA ----- my take is, maybe b/c you have never mentioned it, he/she is not aware that you feel like "it might not go well."  Maybe he/she is not aware that maybe it would help to add a program or to make a Social Story or something (whatever) prior to the appointment, b/c maybe you have not shared it with her, and he/she doesn't realize you have this need.  But, maybe you have this need.


Or ----- maybe it is really not too bad, and you  just need moral support.  


If that is the case ----- I think what you are doing sounds great!  I hope you have a good appointment.  Maybe you can have all your stress ahead of time, and then a smooth apointment :)  That is what I hope  ;)  

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I just have two more thoughs:  One is, success can lead to more success.  If you to to whatever lengths are needed to make it as likely as possible that this is a successful visit, that is setting you up for your next visit.  If you can find any parts of it that go successfully -- that is good, that is the thing to focus on.  You can have some things go well and build on those things.  Probably something will go well.  Two, I have 3 kids and my younger son is a twin.  I know very well about myself, that all my kids are going to get treats when they get a shot if they seem to need it.  It doesn't matter how they act.  They might not get a treat *that second* and I might turn off the mini-DVD player, I might not get out the sticker book.... they might have that kind of consequence.  That is fine with me.  But I am not going to take away an on-the-way-home treat when we are on the way home, unless there is a continued issue in the car.  I just do not do shots that way.  


So I have a little mixture between my parenting and following a behavior plan and/or doing things in a recommended way.  


If I know ahead of time there may be a situation where I am not going to 100% follow something b/c I am going to go with being a parent (which does not come up a lot, but this is a  time it does come up), I can say this to the BCaBA and she can usually give me a suggestion that is a very good compromise.  So if you have the chance, go ahead and ask!  Do you know the policy for, can you send an e-mail?  Sometimes I can send an e-mail, and then get a response the next time I see her, b/c she can easily say it in 2 minutes and then doesn't have to take time to type it out.  


My daughter did not get a prize from the treasure chest at the dentist one time, b/c she did not make it through an evaluation they thought she could do (and I trust them).  Another time my son got 3 prizes from them b/c he was doing good and they know the prizes really help him.  


Well -- on the way home, that is not shots, and we are more limited in what we can do after a dentist visit as far as food/drinks.... but if she had a consequence at the office, and if the visit was hard on her ----- I am not going to further take something from her afterward, unless it is really warranted in some way.  


But I would not do that to my daughter, I just say it is too bad she didn't get the prize from them, maybe she can next time.  But if I said we could have some time at the park, I just wouldn't take that away in general.  So I would not take that away from my son, either.  


Another idea, and i have done this ----- if you can get a secret treat, and give it to the nurse, maybe the nurse can have an awesome highlighter or gel pen or whatever, that is going to be for your daughter if she does x, and it is from the nurse, not from you (if you can be sneaky like this -- I can get away with stuff with my kids but they are young and stuff?).  That way if she doesn't get it, it is not *your* consequence, it is the dentist's, and then maybe if she improves she can still get it.  Maybe she needs to have a time she finds out she really isn't going to get it from the nurse, too.  My daughter did.  Or maybe it is just very, very hard and even if she does her very, very best it is not going to go very well.  


Now -- it that is a bad idea, don't do it!  But that kind of thing can work.  


I like things where somebody else is the bad guy and I am the nice mom.  A nice mom like me, can sympathize with my child that she didn't get a prize today, and hope she gets one next time, and still stop by the park b/c I said we could just b/c the dentist is kind-of a big deal.  Or just b/c that is how I decided to arrange our day!  


I also can do things like cushion the non-earning of a treat by setting it up in the first place as:  something pretty good plus the treat, or something pretty good but oops the treat was not earned.  


Then, if the treat is not earned, you can still do something pretty good.  Then the rest of the day is likely to go smoother!  It is easier for everyone!  If I have set it up this way in the first place, I am not going against a behavior plan.  I might run it by the BCaBA or I might not, b/c I don't want to do something wrong, but I can do things in a way that are good and also more likely to be smoother and easier, even if my child does experience a consequence he/she does not like.  It doesn't have to be a horrible, horrible consequence to be a consequence, it can just be a "too bad" consequence.  


But I think it is worth asking!     


I am not a total softy, either, I have had some difficult times when I have followed through and everything, and I am ALL for that.  Totally.  But if I have a choice between an easy way or a hard way, I would like to try the easy way.  Sometimes the easy way might as well be the hard way, b/c that is how it goes.  But if there is greater chance of success with an easy AND sound way, then  that is better than a harder way that would be really great if it happens, but does not leave a lot of room to re-group if it doesn't go well.  


I also am often taking 3 kids together for these things, so it is hard for me to take away certain things that are for the group.  I also have had some very stressful return car rides and I do not want to have a very stressful return car ride.  So, I am going to schedule something that *doesn't have to be earned* in just so that we can (hopefully) get in a good place prior to the long-ish ride we have from the doctor we go to...... I just do not do well when that return car ride is horrible, and there is no reason for it to be (hopefully) if I just say "we will go to the park by the doctors office" or "lunch will be after the doctors office, it will be _______ (something good and desired, if not a total treat).


If this is the plan in the first place, then I am not setting myself to be in a situation where following through on a consequence means I have a high likelihood of a very, very ugly return car ride.  It is just not what makes sense for us.


I do not want to get in a situation where I am struck with a miserable car ride just b/c I designed a system where if things did not go well, then we would need to follow a not-ideal situation up with a miserable car ride, and by then, the day is shot.  


I mean, maybe that is what happens anyway.  But for the times that the day can turn around and still be pretty good, I think it is worth it to try to find these turn-around points and take advantage of them to really try to get back on track. 


But if not earning the treat will not ruin the entire day, then it is not that same kind of domino effect.  I just can't afford a domino effect like that.  I can have consequences or require certain behavior before allowing something, and still work very hard to avoid the domino effect.  The domino effect is just...... it can really make for a miserable day, and I do not like that, and I don't think it is beneficial to any of us.  

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Well... Guess I need to follow up here. Suffice to say it was not a good day, and I think we're going to be talking to the nurses about a plan to desensitize dd for the future. On the bright side, the BCBA now has a firm grasp of our challenges. And now, on to some Advil, some chocolate and some really escapist reading!

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Sorry it was rough. We honestly celebrated this year when 20dd made it through her flu shot without kicking or hitting the tech or swearing. First year ever. I think from now in we will do better as success breeds success.


My friend is a doctor and parent of kids with special needs. She sees most of the special needs kids in the practice. She said that at times you just have to push through and do what needs to be done with as little fanfare as possible.


I remember pinning my daughter down on my lap with her legs pinned between mine and her one arm pinned behind my back while I held the other one for a blood test. Neither of us enjoyed it but we got it done.... And now she is much better for those.

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