TalkTools

Vaccine Social Story?

Well, for us I would not say as I actually wrote one out for Elizabeth.

But I did walk her through what we will be doing, when think were doing it and what to expect for our COVID vaccine.  (Based on her age, she will qualify soon.)

Of course, this was based on what I knew from others about the process of getting the COVID vaccine.   We have not had ours, so I relied on the accuracy of information from others.

I know it was a very detailed conversation I had with them too!  I know they knew why I was asking so even though it was akin to an interrogation with a bare lightbulb!  I knew that the more I knew, the more I could share with Elizabeth and the better her anxiety would be.

Even at 23 years old, I am still amazed that at times, her SPD (Sensory Processing Disorder) can show itself and just wrangle her into the anxiety that makes functioning well….quite hard work.

I asked my friends the 5 “W”s of their vaccination process.  What, Where, When, Why… as well as some other questions that are unique to what WE needed to know.

Here are a couple of things I learned:

I learned the importance of filling out the paperwork first so that the wait time to process through to the next step is done more quickly.  This way, I learned you pass through the first step quickly.

I learned that the wait feels long and I decided that Elizabeth will bring her headphones with us so she can listen to music while we complete our waiting period.   This way she will be occupied happily while we pass the 30 minutes.

I learned that we should talk about the way the vaccine can make you feel.  Maybe for Elizabeth, not in vivid details…but in the detail she can handle. The same goes for your child. This way she and I can address it but she will be knowledgeable and better able to talk it through with me.

I think something that I think is important is that even after the vaccine is given, I will have to explain to Elizabeth about masks, social distancing and hand washing.  She is really good about it now ( I am a bit of a dictator about it so that helps)  The next step will be having the discussion of how to live vaccinated!  I think it may be a bit of work for her to get used to “lightening” up

So that is where we are right now.  Our state is starting to schedule for my age bracket and then we will be looking at Elizabeth getting hers.

We are not there yet but something that I learned a long time ago is that being focused “just that much” more on the future allows for preparations and conversations for your child’s needs ahead of time.  All of which are done with the hopes that when the actual event arrives, you and your child will be better prepared, calmer than if not done and can head into the event better equipped.

I wish everyone a peaceful month and for those of us…me included who are loving Springtime’s arrival…enjoy some time outside!

Please wear a mask and continue taking care of each other.

Michele Gianetti

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