Autism Mama, Raise Your Hand

Carrie Cariello

My 11-year old son, Jack, is now pulling out his own teeth.

He starts picking at them in the morning, wiggling them loose by the afternoon, and by dinnertime he presents me with a baby molar he wrenched free. Then he runs upstairs to carefully place it in a long line of teeth he pulled out the day before, and the day before that, and even the day before that.

He’s always had a thing with his teeth. He could never tolerate one that was loose or wobbly. They distract him. He can’t think of anything else until the tooth is gone and he can poke his tongue or a finger into the tender hole it leaves behind.

It turns my stomach. It really does. Every so often I catch him with his fingers in his mouth and I snap at him to stop.

“Jack! Stop picking at your teeth!”

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