Wow. Yesterday's post and all of the comments I received about it, both on the blog and in several Facebook forums, made me really, really sad, but also gave me hope. Incredibly sad because I honestly had no idea how prevalent this issue of our kids with Down syndrome (as well as those with other special needs) going to the dentist was. Hopeful because I got many useful suggestions. I have learned, above all, that there's no easy fix for this, that it will take time, hard work, and stretch the boundaries of my patience. But, if I can employ them and get them to work to the desired outcome, it will all have been worth it. Fear of the dentist is no fun, and can cause serious issues down the line. People with special needs very often have major dental issues and don't get help for them.
So Thank You to all of you who responded, who offered up so much valuable advice or even just a few words of commiseration to assure me that I'm not alone in this.
On to thanks of a happier nature...I may be a bit scarce 'round these parts for a few weeks. While I'll still be posting some, I think blogging may have to take a bit of a back seat to another project I'm working on - I, along with a friend of mine, the mother of another child in Samantha's class, am nominating Samantha's teacher for a prestigious county-wide Teacher of the Year award. I really have no words to describe the gratitude we feel for all that she's done, for her support, patience, and encouragement, her flexibility and overwhelming desire to do whatever it takes to help all of her students learn. The work that needs to go into the packet to turn in for the nomination is quite intensive, and I want to make sure I can do a good job, to present our case in the most compelling way possible. She really deserves it. (Btw, if any of you are wondering, it's okay if she reads this...she knows already...) :-)