April 14, 2010

first dinner

Last night was the first dinner my buddy ate that I didn't have to grind something up.  We've been at this stand still for months and have made no progress as far as eating more solid food.  I was under the impression that he was physically unable to eat and swallow certain textures.  Turns out I was wrong.

We had a double team - OT and Speech Therapist - come over for lunch to see how my buddy was chewing and see if they could help.  I made a smorgasbord of food he usually spits out.  And wouldn't you know, my buddy was able to eat it all. 

Turns out he wanted a fork of his own.

What I thought was a physical issue turns out to be a behavioral issue.  There are certain foods he won't touch if you just put it on his tray and let him at it.  He'll simply put them in his mouth, spit them out, and throw any remaining food straight to the floor.  But put it in a bowl and help him stab at it with a fork... suddenly he eats.

Of course, you have to hold the bowl still so he doesn't toss that to the ground as well.  And those bowls with suction on the bottom are no match for his super-human strength. 

While we are on the subject of behavioral issues, I fear I may be in for it with my buddy.  When he gets frustrated, he started bumping his head on the ground.  And when he gets really upsets he "freaks out" - flailing his arms, forgetting to breath, turning purple, mouth wide open, and a crazed look in his eye.  I feel like 18 months is too young for that.

The hardest part of it all is I don't know how much I can expect of him.  When I tell him something, it's hard to tell if he is just ignoring me or truly doesn't understand.  I have high hopes for him and treat and speak to him like I would any other child, but I know that he is not "typical" and I can't expect him to be on target for all aspects of his development.

I guess for now all I can do is give the boy a fork.

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