Thursday, January 10, 2008

Feeding Clinic - Day 3

This was the first day of treatments. They have their work cut out for them, but I did see a very small amount of progress already.

They start with a familiar food because Sarah gets so hungry she just doesn't want to deal with them. She is doing great with spoon-feeding her purees. She did most of each food herself or with help, very little was spoon-fed to her.

Anyway, they are trying to get her to bite on a chewy tube, which is basically this red rubber tube that I'd guess is probably about the consistency of chewy candy. Just to get her jaw moving properly. So far, she won't put it in her mouth. But they're going to keep trying.

They tried regular oatmeal for breakfast again, this time it had been put through a blender. That went about as well as if they hadn't bothered to try to smooth it out with a blender. She gagged a lot on it, and I honestly thought she'd throw up. She kept it down, thankfully.

They are trying to introduce meltable solids - cheerios, cheese curls, Gerber puffs, etc. First she has to touch them five times, which hasn't really been too difficult. Then they want her to "kiss" the food, in other words put it up to her mouth. That has been rough. She really doesn't want to do that, and avoids it as much as possible. They are being very patient with her, though, and they are getting her to put the food up to her mouth.

They tried regular spaghetti, which she has eaten in the past, but she refused it. They got her to touch it, which she did somewhat reluctantly, and they got her to kiss it. She wasn't happy about that, but I think we may get back to regular spaghetti soon because she was licking the sauce off of her lips.

They're also using some reinforcement to get her to touch, kiss, etc. the new food. She can play with a toy while they work on the food, but if she refuses or hits, etc., the toy is taken away and the therapist turns away from her for a short period of time, maybe 30 seconds. I'm not sure yet how this is working, but I think there's a good chance it will. She doesn't like having the toys taken away, so I have a feeling once the connection is made that certain behaviors make toys go away, she may learn. We'll see.

Anyway, I do see progress. We have been trying to get her to put textured foods to her mouth, but no dice. So, even though she didn't like it, she managed to get the foods up to her mouth without her getting terribly upset.

I'm staying at the clinic all day again tomorrow. I am going to probably spend less time there after this week, but we'll play it by ear.

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