Any parent knows that raising a child has it's moments where things are up and things are down. It's the ebbs and flows of life in general. Raising a child with special needs is the same way, but with it's own set of challenges.
I have been having a really rough time with Colin's feeding issues lately. I get choked up just writing about it because it is something that I have been incredibly frustrated with. I get even more upset because I feel that I shouldn't be so upset since Colin does so many wonderful things, he has great health, and he makes us so incredibly happy. Those things are such great reminders on a daily basis and they do help to overshadow meal times.
These difficulties remind me of visiting the beach (if you're someone who loves it as much as I do). There are those beach days that are just perfect and make you so happy just to be there. The temperature is perfect, there's a nice breeze, the water is warm, and the sun is shining so brightly. It might be a little bit too hot or a little bit too chilly, but you would never know because it's otherwise beautiful. However, there are those days where the water is rough, it's too cold, the winds are strong and it's just not comfortable to be up there. Those days don't happen that often but when they do, it's frustrating because you love the beautiful days so much. One thing that remains the same is that no matter what the day is like, you simply love the beach. It's your favorite place to be...
I am so proud of Colin for the progress he is making in so many areas. I don't want this venting post to overshadow those things...but, mealtimes are such a struggle. The feeding therapy assessment was great and we got a lot of great tips, but we are home now and trying to implement them is difficult. We are waiting to see what our insurance will cover in terms of outpatient services at the specialized hospital, and I am waiting to see what EI will help with in terms of getting an OT assessment.
I have been food processing my little heart out trying lots of new things with him. Some things have gone over really well, while most things it's a fight to get something to stay in Colin's mouth. He complains if you try to get him to self feed with the spoon (which he CAN do, but has a mini-tantrum if you put the spoon in a place where he can grab it, even though he has often put it in his mouth before). He will NOT self-feed at all (even things he loves like ice cream). One day he will eat something really well, the next day he will refuse to eat it. Most days he can suck milk up fine, other days all of the liquid falls out of his mouth (although, he loved the milkshake he had today and I can assure you that NONE of it dripped out).
I know that we have had lots of mini struggles along the way and we have overcome them. I think things just feel so difficult right now but this is the current struggle. However, it's starting to make me dread mealtimes (and make me more emotional) to have to keep pushing and worrying and fretting over quantities and calories and varieties and make sure Colin is actually eating enough.
So I ask all of you who have been through this and/or are still going through this...
Do you have any suggestions on how to get Colin to start self-feeding?
What has worked well with your children?
Thanks for your help!