“I think doctors and dentists need to know kids like to be told what you’re going to do. And to kids out there going through this, no matter what, always know that you can speak up and advocate for yourself!”
Graduate, Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center;
Current College Freshman
People all have different perspectives of what a disability is. Some people judge us, but it’s nothing like what they think. Somebody with a disability can do the same thing as a regular person can do. Maybe even 10 times better if you really put your heart into it! I figure whatever the problem, you can always get over it, around it or through it. There are no boundaries. I am not the kind of kid to just stand in a corner. I want to be heard.
I play basketball and video games, hang out with my friends, and I’m on social media. I am also healthy in many different ways. I drink a lot of water and brush my teeth every day, trying to get them nice and clean, especially with my braces. And then I have a good and healthy attitude to do whatever I want to do throughout the day.
Health is important, but for a long time I would get overwhelmed with anxiety when I had a doctor or dental appointment because the doctors didn’t always get me. They were kind of rushing it and I would be uncomfortable, or in pain, or not know what’s going on. Like ‘what are you doing to do to me?’ or ‘what the heck is that thing!’
Like any kid my age or a young adult, if I’m not comfortable, I probably won’t cooperate. I need to be in a humble, safe, comfortable environment or my anxiety goes through the roof. I need to process it all. Now I know that at the dentist, taking breaks is a big help. My dentist now will tell me step-by-step what’s going to happen and what they’re going to do. Then it just makes sense. The whole appointment flows just like a little river.
I think doctors and dentists need to know kids like to be told what you’re going to do. They need you to chill, relax and talk it out. And to kids out there going through this, no matter what, always know that you can speak up and advocate for yourself!