Braces for son with autism--remove or retain?

Chris - posted on 02/01/2013 ( no moms have responded yet )

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I'm a dad--hope that's ok. My 14-year old son, who has high-functioning autism, got braces yesterday. He has never tolerated body interventions well--even as simple as haircuts. His upper teeth are too far apart, so that's mostly cosmetic. His lower teeth are too close together, so I think he needs them to help him maintain his hygiene. Here's the problem: he's crying a lot, saying they hurt, won't take medicine, saying they "have to come off--NOW!," and not eating much. And refusing to brush them. I realize it's just the 2nd day, but if he carries on this way for 18 months, I think there's a point at which it's counterproductive for his mental AND dental health. He lives in the present and can't conceive of having them on even for 1 week. He had a note from his teacher saying he couldn't focus on his school work. Do we remove them and let him take care of them as best he can? Do we insist he leave them in, though it seems like child torture? If so, how do we explain to him it's for the best? Really torn. Any insights are welcome.

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