Leah and Alexander

Mum Leah shared her story wth Amaze (Autism Connect) of how she approached the vaccination of 12-year-old Alexander.

Leah said good planning and the promise of reward made the process run smoothly for Alexander.

She made a social script in the form of a digital slideshow that included images of Alexander doing the things he loves but hasn’t been able to do during the pandemic. Making sure the nurses were fully informed beforehand and the promise of a reward for Alexander were key factors in their planning.

“I also put together a reward box that included games, chocolate and art supplies, which was something for him to look forward to,” Leah says.

Read Leah’s Story

Ash and Tom

Ash shared a different experience with us. She said the key for 9-year-old Tom was not to prepare him too early. Had she told him too far in advance, he would have been fixated on the event (and most likely driven them all mad) – this is also problematic if a change in plan happens.

Instead, Ash used the concept of consequence and reward. She told Tom that he would need to get the vaccination so that he could play in the playground. Tom was able to identify with this outcome. The delivery of a lollypop at vaccination time also provided a necessary diversion.

Ash shared her story with us:
“We told him the morning of the vaccination and reminded him that mummy and daddy had their vaccination so we’re better protected against covid and we were fine.

He was nervous in the car on the way and a bit before but the nurse told him to focus on that big pile of lollipops and choose which one he might want afterwards.

He cried a little when the *needle went in from a sensory perspective but an open lollipop and his reading game on the ipad changed his tune immediately.

We told him afterwards about some of the minor side affects to tell us about if he feels them, but otherwise he’s running around all happy with himself.

We chose to go through our GP and they have a hall, running track and playground out the back that they run the vaccinations from. It’s all open and nice for the kids to calm down.

Ultimately everyone’s different.. some kids require that heavy prep and some need next to no prep. I’ve also heard *Emla numbing cream 1 hour before is amazing too!”


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