Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sensory/Feeding Issues

I am often asked when I see friends/family I haven't seen in awhile how Colin's feeding issues are going.  I don't mind being asked because I have a pretty standard answer now and because right now, we are pretty easy going about the eating habits that Colin continues to have.  My standard answer is "they're NOT going, he only eats 4 things, but, it's ok for now".  

4 things Colin will eat:
- yogurt (seems to be only one kind he will eat in the original packaging)
- vanilla pudding
- cottage cheese with raspberries or strawberries (have to be cut up small though or he will spit out the chunks)
- vanilla ice cream

He seems to be hungrier now where he will eat multiple puddings or yogurts in a sitting and his bowl of cottage cheese is pretty hefty, but as hard as we try, we can not expand into other things.  Occasionally he will seem interested in a pancake, but after making him one, will only eat 3 bites and if we are eating pizza, he always wants a few bites, but as soon as it cools down he spits it out because it feels funny.

When we were at our Trisomy 21 clinic visit at CHOP, the pediatrician was really great about everything that he is or is not doing, but she said that in the future, we may need to address the feeding issues again in terms of therapy.  This is discouraging to me because we have gone this route and felt as though we did not get anywhere with him.  

This is where the sensory issues come in.  Since we spend a LOT of time on the beach, we often find Colin rubbing his face in the sand or eating it.  When I say eating it, I mean, picking up (using his pincer grip) clumps of sand and eating it over and over and over again.  

I changed a really poopy diaper this morning that consisted of clumps of sand everywhere.  Try wiping mushy, sandy poop.  The other day when I was on a new beach with a friend, there were several people that were staring (unfortunately, I can't help but notice) and two different people felt it was important to tell me (as if they didn't see me telling Colin no over and over again).  The problem is, even if I tell him no and "remove him" from the situation, he finds another area to himself and starts eating again.  It also depends on his mood, level of tiredness and temperment for that day.  He is generally a sand eater when he is really tired.

Yep, my kid eats sand.

Although my attitude is nonchalant on the issue, it does really frustrates and discourages me.  We have now been facing feeding issues for 3 years!  It's one of those pesky things that just haven't gone away.


Jenny said...

Russell lives off of yogurt and pudding and apple sauce...He eats a few other things too, but not much. His issues with feeding are it has to be broken up for him...Like he will not bite from toast, he wants it in pieces on his tray...He won't bite a banana, that too has to be broken up...He will not eat ANY thing crunchy...No crackers, no cereal, nothing like that...

We have had OT a few times but she never has any new ideas...All she says is to try getting him to dip his food into something or let him smush his hands in pudding and different textures, make things different temperatures...sigh...Ya, I get all that, it's not working.

So I am fine waiting it out. I'm not going to stress over it...LOL, I can't believe how much sand he got all over his face! Too funny!

Alaina and Kyle said...


I TOTALLY understand where your frustration is!! It isn't easy and often a daunting task. I do have the g-tube as a back up but that in itself is super frustrating. One thing I have found that Beau likes is grape nuts. Colin might like it because it has the texture of 'sand'. :) That or rice crispies. Beau's not a rice crispy fan but the grape nuts are a favorite. It isn't easy for him to pick them up but sometimes I sprinkle it on top of yogurt and he just digs it out.

Suze said...

Hang in there! My niece would only eat yogurt (specific kind), and maybe 3 kinds of specific Gerber baby food up until the last year or so. Now she has maybe 10 items in rotation, including solids. The lollipop she had on vacation last week was cause for celebration. Her sensory issues stem from autism, and she has plenty. But we have seen progress, and our whole family works to encourage her. My brother and SIL's approach after all the feeding specialists was to take a step back and eventually she started trying things. Colin will get there on his own schedule, and you guys are doing a great job !

Erin said...

I saw this picture and had to comment. Lucas loved rubbing his face in sand too. He is a huge sensory seeker and we have to watch him close so he won't get hurt. You're not alone ;)

April Vernon said...

We are having the same issue with Levi (2 years old). He basically lives on baby food and graham crackers. I am trying not to stress about it but wish I knew what to do. I feel like a bad mom b/c I am not feeding him healthier food. He also loves sand!

Kristin said...

Max was eating an ear-ring in a Claire's store a couple of weeks ago. Some lady gave me the "uh, I think your kid is eating something". He is ALWAYS eating paper, so I assumed that's what it was. Nope - a metal earring he had swiped from a display. My bad!