If I were to sum up our Easter holidays in one word, it would have to be “cough”. Poor old D has had a vicious cough for the past few weeks and it’s been quite demoralising for her.
Regular readers may remember how much D detests the taste and smell of calpol, it proves just how poorly she’s felt that she’s asked to be given some, all the while pulling absolutely digusted faces!
She’d be fine in the open air of the garden but air conditioning in shops – for example – would see her go beetroot red as her cough overcame her.
On one such trip, we not only managed to get D through an eye test but experienced some really wonderful and autism-friendly service. An eye test with Leightons.
We’d been going to a recommended SN-friendly optician ever since an awful experience with a well-known chain where the optician got so annoyed that D wasn’t co-operating (partly due to his brusqueness, we shouldn’t have gone there – clue) that we were practically thrown out. But I felt sure now that D could cope in a mainstream optician, if I let them know in advance of her needs.
We were given an extended appointment and off we popped.
The staff at Leightons were absolutely wonderful with her, gently explaining in advance what they’d be doing and interjecting with smiles and humour, very much getting down to D’s level – which she best reacts to.
And then came the fun part afterwards, choosing some new frames. We were joined by two staff members, who understood the need for D to see her images in potential new frames on an iPad, as well as in a mirror. She was anxious about having to choose (a confidence issue) but between us all, we found some.
They arrived within two working days!!
Our trip to pick them up was handled again very gently, at D’s level. Her frames needed a few adjustments and, as D was comfortable, it all went very well.
Immediately we were out of the shop, she noticed the difference with her new lenses, pointing out tiny little things she wouldn’t have noticed before and no more squinting – yay!
Massive thanks to Leightons for creating – what could have been a stressful time – a smooth experience for D. It’s comforting to know that, in autism awareness month especially, that there’s empathy and understanding out there.