Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Step by Step

'almon patti mama' (salmon patty mama!)
These are some of the things I am beginning to hear from Ellie.
'ookie'  You want some cookie? 'YEAH!'

While she is still not allowed to eat these things, we are sadly capitalizing on one factor: she can't chew.  She is asking to have what we have (such as big sisters salmon patty at lunch), and she is spending time in that highchair. Most of it is licks or moving food around, but that is progress. Food aversion has been the name of the game. Sensory issues and lack of muscle control for chewing is the consequence. We learned from her feeding therapist that there are triangle muscles on the side of the face she has never used, and will now have to do actual exercises to strengthen. Lovely. My toddler the face-muscle builder. But that is ok. All of these hurdles are part of being a parent, and if we can get her to ask for food then we are making progress.

It's the telling her no that breaks my heart.  And on occasion she has managed a whopping chunk off of a muffin or cookie which has required intervention and the devastating taking away of the food she clings to. I can't help but guess each time sets us back a little bit.

BUT we have worked so incredibly hard to get the dangerous foods out of the home - no corn, soy, grains, dairy (for the most part)- that I can always know what she is holding will not do major damage.  Her sensitivities have also improved so that she can hold things such as foods, crayons, etc, and not have a reaction.  So for now we are focusing on exposure, and getting her back into the idea of eating without it coming from a bottle.  Step by step, we are moving forward!

1 comment:

  1. This idea of building strength to be able to chew and swallow in a toddler is just nutty isn't it! BUT I can tell you it WILL happen. Just takes time. We worked through ALL of the therapies and it truly was a lot, but little by little the strength came. Hang in there!

    PAN

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