Saturday, January 12, 2008

Feeding Clinic - Day 4

So, too tired to blog yesterday. I can catch up today, though, because we don't go on weekends.

Yesterday started out very discouraging, but quickly got much better.

Her breakfast feed was pretty bad. She gagged on oatmeal and threw it up a little too. I may talk to her main therapist and see if I should just give them a box of her baby oatmeal and see if they can mix them or something. It's the same texture was the baby cereal, so I'd guess it's a taste thing. I don't know. They wanted her to touch pieces of a pancake. She did - mainly to throw them on the floor. They did manage to get the chewy tube into her mouth after dipping into yogurt, but only once. Sarah got wise to that pretty fast. I can't remember if she let them put the pancake to her mouth or not, but I don't think so. She spoon-fed herself yogurt very well, and drank all her milk. So not a total wash, but otherwise not a good feed. I was feeling pretty down after that.

Odd coincidences between me and the therapist who fed her. Her name is Amy, she's pregnant and due in April, and she's delivering at the same hospital where I am with the same midwives. She wants a doula, but we can't have the same one because our due dates are too close together and I know my doula won't take her. I told her I'd try to get some names for her.

Anyway, after breakfast one of the speech therapists came and talked to me and said she wanted to take Sarah this afternoon for a speech session since I requested speech therapy for Sarah. We went over what she's doing, the things she likes, what we're doing to help her, etc. The therapist was very pleased with the way we're helping her - just that we're doing minimal prompting to get a response out of her and increasing the prompting as necessary. For example, if I know darn well she's hungry, I'll say "What do you want?" first, and if she doesn't say "eat", then I'll move on to "Do you want to eat?", which usually gets a response.

I called the college to get her last report faxed over, and they said they'd get to it. I'm sure it will be there Monday. I told the therapist if it's not there by Tuesday, to let me know and I'll call back.

Then it was time for Sarah's lunch. She had a different therapist feeding her, and Sarah really did well. She ate an entire Stage 3 jar of food that I haven't gotten her to finish in I don't know how long. It's one of the really lumpy Stage 3 foods (Beech-Nut Turkey Rice). It has peas, rice, little pieces of carrot, etc. She ate squash as well, just baby food squash, and the therapist sneaked the chewy tube dipped in squash into her mouth several times. Sarah didn't like it, but didn't get horribly upset either. She put bread to Sarah's mouth five times in a row without any argument from Sarah (my jaw nearly hit the floor when this happened). She tried to get her to lick the bread, but Sarah didn't want to stick out her tongue for her.

I grabbed my lunch and hung out and then the speech therapist took Sarah for her session. She wanted to take Sarah by herself, and I agreed that was the best idea. I stopped staying for Sarah's speech sessions a while ago because she wasn't behaving herself when I was there and wanted to hang on me. And when she sees me at the clinic, she knows it's time to go home. She came back and said Sarah did beautifully. She really enjoyed a lot of the things she did with her, and was trying to say "more" when signing it. I'm really happy about that, although speech therapy really hasn't been a problem for her in a while.

Then Sarah had her afternoon snack with her main therapist. She did pretty well there too. She ate the applesauce she gave her, spoon-feeding herself almost the whole thing. She sneaked the chewy tube dipped in applesauce into her mouth several times. Sarah put up a fight, but the therapist didn't let her get away with it. Right now Sarah can play with a toy during the meal, but if she hits or throws a fit, she gets the toy taken away. Sarah didn't like that at all, and I think she's starting to get the hint that this behavior isn't going to fly. She reluctantly let the therapist put a cheese curl to her mouth several times. She put up less of a fight than usual with that. Same thing with a piece of cheese.

Overall, I'm pleased with her progress so far. It's going to be in baby steps. But just the idea that she's allowing these foods anywhere near her mouth is amazing!


rae said...

Thanks for leaving these blogs and keeping us updated. I think Sarah will make a lot of progress in this program. She's a smart "cookie," and I think she'll respond to the behavior mods. Overall, I think she's doing well and in a year or so, I believe we'll begin to see the Sarah that's been hidden because of her autism.
Love, Mom

Grandpa said...

I also appreciate the extra work it takes to blog after going to two different clinics. But us grandparents appreciate the work.
She's making good progress.
Keep up the excellent work.