It’s one week to school and counting. We’ve had one last hurdle to jump this summer. Colin got a metal palate expander. Go ahead and Google that. Pick out the image of the largest, most intimidating looking one and you’ve found the one that Colin has. I won’t post a picture for the weak stomached.
This appliance would be a drag for any kid, but a kid with autism spectrum issues will wear his mother out.
“How long do I have to have this? I can’t swallow. I can’t eat. I talk funny. I can’t swallow. How long do I have to have this? Why are you making me do this? Is it going to get better? When? When? When?”
There’s just enough room between the top of the appliance and the roof of his mouth so that food gets really, really wedged up in there. It’s gross. I’m not going to tell you otherwise. It would be a challenge for any kid to keep clean, but for a kid with some motor skill issues it requires a laborious session with his head on his mother’s lap and a pick and brush and much gagging from both parties.
It also requires daily adjusting. There’s a small metal key and we have to stick our hand down the poor kid’s throat and crank on it every night. The orthodontist told me it shouldn’t hurt Colin, but looking back at it now, I am thinking the orthodontist is a very genial man with a pleasant and reassuring smile. How could it not hurt to have a large metal device in your mouth which is cranked on every day for the purpose of expanding your bite.
And then the braces. Better or worse?
At least we won’t have to adjust them ourselves.