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Thursday, August 09, 2007

Food and growth

Many people have a hard time understanding why the parents of special needs children are so incredibly inefficient.

So many of these children are more than capable but their parents get in the way of progress. [translation = a lawful impediment] Most parents have the best of intentions, but sometimes it can take a very long time for what appear to be simple skills, to be mastered.

In this particular household, we have been struggling with mealtimes for many a long year. For one of my sons, food is aversive. Like many children, food is of no interest to him. [translation = refueling stop] A wise parent would open a catering carton of Goldfish crackers and be done with it. [translation = guilty as charged] Other more foolish parents, know that the food campaign must be maintained. [translation = what’s a few more months or years at this stage of the game] I already know, that there is a very fine line to be followed. [translation = push to hard and he can not eat for five days straight] I also know that we are slowly moving in the right direction. [translation = from 3 foods to 17 foods in three and a half years]

We start our day before it is light. My son drapes himself on the table shoveling breakfast cereal into his mouth that remains open, whilst he attempts mastication. [translation = many speech delayed children have a hard time controlling where their tongue is, in relation to all the other bits and bobs in there] He attempts to talk at the same time. [translation = bad table manners but how we love those moments of voluntary communication]
“When it is?”
“What is what dear?” I think for a second. Did he just say ‘when’ rather than ‘what’? He did! I blink and await elucidation.
“I din say ‘what’ I say ‘whennnn!’?”
“Yes, thank you. I realize that now. Seems like my ears aren’t working properly this morning.” How many more failing body parts am I to discover?
“Das o.k.” So magnanimous. I wait. I do not prompt him to continue because then I might jinx my chances. I wait a bit more, listen to the crunching cereal and watch Cheerios ping around to various quarters of the room. [translation = one of the penalties of poor lip closure]
“So…..I say…..when it is?”
“When is what dear?”

I wonder how I’ll manage with this new phrase and my new response? Maybe I should dig out a new response to use for the next six months? What new response would be a better response?

“When I am having my snack?” he bellows as he chucks his spoon into the bowl with a clatter, clutches both tightly, springs from the chair with the skill of a gymnast, skitters to the sink, flings them both into the bowl, flips back around 180 degrees with a grin from ear to ear to finish with, “coz I finish my breakfast and I am being dah hungry!”
[translation = balm to the barmy ears]
Gold medal winner that he is.


Jade said...

Meal time can most certainly be a challenge cant it? Fixations of specific foods, dislikes of certain textures...its a very tricky part of the day.
Good for you for working towards healthy eating habits though. Many of parents of Autistic children I encounter are so frustrated that they allow fixations and bad habits to continue out of convenience .
Slow and steady wins the race with this population thats for sure.
Awesome to hear that he's using his words so well though!

BOSSY said...

Great photos.hwyyo

BOSSY said...

'hwyyo'? Excuse me? Oh, that was just the word verification...

Jeni said...

Mealtime can be a challenge at times - to say the least! LOL At least here, with Maya, she's generally pretty good about many foods. Most any pasta dish is usually accepted; fruits are usually refused -some vehemently! (Like peaches!) White milk is acceptable now only on cereal otherwise, it must have either chocolate syrup or strawberry flavoring in it! I can concede to that request though. Most juices are acceptable to her. Some meats will also be consumed too - usually ground beef, sausage and chicken, although the chicken (or poultry) can be a sticky wicket at times. Potatoes - usually only if they are french fries or scalloped. It's all often a game of "go figure" though as what is considered an edible substance may change in a blink of an eye too.

Genevieve Hinson said...

LOL that was fantastic!

We're still working with our youngest (ruled not spectrum but perhaps ocd and def. language and some developmental delays) to work away from crackers. Thrilled he'll eat yogurt and eggs and chicken nuggets now (that took over a year of doing). Then some dumb ass [translation: me] introduced him to cookies.

Now some kids want cookies and ask -- but my son is bordering on the cookies placing a restraining order. *Sigh*

He did eat a bite of an apple... once, last year. I keep offering them and he keeps pushing the plate far far away.

Jerry Grasso said...

Demetrius is always wanting to know next, in the middle of now. Autistic needs for structure....including next meals while in the middle of eating....

Unknown said...

!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's GREAT!!! Good for him!

dgibbs said...

Sounds like there may be a shoppng trip coming up soon, to refill the pantry along with new clothes to cover the growth spurt.

bigwhitehat said...

Fantastic pictures.

Linda said...

I do love those pictures! Especially the first one as it just looks so darned fun!

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