The doctor’s office can be a scary place. Here are some tips to make your child’s next trip to the pediatrician a little smoother.
- Talk to the doctor or a staff member ahead of time. Find out what procedures your child is scheduled for. If you are seeing a different health care provider than typical, let them know that your child has sensory difficulties and may require a little more time and explanation.
- Try to make the appointment first thing in the morning or right after lunch to decrease the chances of the appointment running late. Keep in mind your child’s natural rhythm when picking an appointment.
- Make a visual schedule of what to expect. Steps may include waiting, standing on a scale to be weighed and measured, taking temperature, waiting again in the exam room, having the doctor check eyes, ears and chest, etc. Let your child check off the steps
- Bring a large, soft button up shirt or bathrobe from home and a pillowcase or towel to sit on if your child has difficulty tolerating the paper gown or table cover.
- Have your child complete wall pushups in the exam room when waiting for the doctor to come in.
- Read children’s books about going to the doctor. Mickey, Dora and Clifford all have books about their own doctor’s appointments.
- Play doctor at home. Set up a reception desk, waiting area and examination room. Practice the steps of a doctor’s appointment so your child will know what to expect during the real thing.