Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Normal is boring, right? RIGHT???

So I am officially giving up home-based feeding therapy. My child will starve himself rather than eat pizza without pepperoni. He cried last night when I asked him to try a french fry. Going to other friend's houses is dicey: if they have little tiny ones I can usually count on there being something for Sam to eat, but otherwise I haul in my own food for him, mostly consisting of macaroni and cheese packets.

The constant fighting to try to get him to try new foods is exhausting, and it doesn't seem to be working. I've tried "chaining" food, and we make no progress. We were making some good progress with tolerating new vegetables on the plate, but it pretty much stopped there. I could get him up to licking the new food but no further.

It's the anxiety around food that is worrisome to me. He's not just picky--he has a clearly defined set of allowable and non-allowable foods, and attempts to add to that list bring about some pretty severe reactions. I know that lots of parents think you can just ask them to try a new food and as long as you keep presenting it that everything will work out, but dude. We are not there. We haven't been there. We've been working towards that for like, four years. And I. Give. Up. I am out of my depth with this.

Sam has an evaluation for occupational therapy in May, and they assured me that feeding therapy can be part of that. I've always thought he doesn't have sensory issues informing his feeding problems, because texture doesn't seem to be a problem for him. But there is something off about his reaction to food, and man. I just want someone professional to either say "This is all in your head, he's a picky eater and he'll grow out of it and he's fine" or "Yeah, you're right, he needs some help with this issue and here are the tactics we can use to help him."

Part of having a kid with special needs is you start to see everything through the special needs filter. Is he just a picky eater who gets dramatic about being asked to try new foods or does he have Food Issues? Is he just a kid who laughs at things that aren't that funny or is it Inappropriate Laughter? Does he just like to dance and contort his body or is he Having Sensory and Proprioceptive Issues? Sometimes I feel like I don't even know what "normal" looks like anymore.

I'm really looking forward to getting him into OT so we can figure out what we need to work on with him and what is just a normal part of being four.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh hai.

So instead of blogging I've been editing academic dissertations, which is evidently my new job. I've been trying to build up a freelance business for a while now and I feel like I'm starting to reach a tipping point where I can actually say "Why yes, I'm a freelance editor specializing in dissertations" rather than just every so often editing a dissertation for a friend of a friend. It's kind of awesome, because I love editing, and it is nice to have a little extra income, and it does my ego good to be considered an actual editor adult-type person. But on the other hand, being a Work Out of Home Mom kind of sucks. I like using my brain, I  like that my son sees me doing some productive work and sees me being a professional, but I hate spending so much time ignoring him while I try to meet a deadline. Clearly I need to do some work on finding balance with that. I try to do most of my editing while he's in school or on weekends or after he's in bed, but there inevitably comes the days when I'm trying to wrap up a job and the poor child is plunked in front of the television for four straight hours.

Yesterday I just threw him out in the backyard with a squirt bottle full of water and some kid-sized gardening tools and let him do his thang. It was great. He came in covered in dirt and starving. I'm hoping with the gorgeous weather we've been having that I'll be able to exercise this option considerably more frequently than the tv option.

Today he goes back to preschool after his weeklong spring break, and we'll see how that goes. We've been doing a lot of work on "good choices vs bad choices," which is something he really seems to respond to. Although he's been telling me that he's going to make bad choices and then change them into good choices. I'm trying to figure out a way to communicate that while it is always okay to make mistakes and that it is wonderful to catch yourself in the middle of a mistake and change course, it is not acceptable to set out to make a bad choice. Sigh. This kid is too smart for his own good sometimes. He can always find the loophole in any rule.