At least in our world, certain therapies or goals tend to take front and center at different times. I find it nearly impossible to focus on everything at once, so there are some days or weeks that feeding is a big priority, and some where it takes a back burner. I simply don’t have enough hours in my day – nor enough space to worry in my brain – to always have it be at the forefront.
I feel it’s been on the back burner for awhile. The focus was very much on the preschool transition for quite some time, and it has taken a little bit to get into the swing of the new schedule. And the swallow study – well, that was a setback – sometimes grieving where you thought you were headed means you hide from the issue for a little while.
After feeding therapy last week – and after Kiran finished a jar of carrots between Tuesday’s dinner and Wednesday’s lunch – I decided to focus and take notes this week. Kiran has been doing significantly better and eating more when motivated (dinner tends to be the very best time; breakfast the worst; lunch and snack vary with how tired he is)…but this week, he has simply rocked it! I am sure my focus and willingness to really put forth the effort at every meal we practice oral has helped – but man! This week, he has finished 2 jars and 4 pouches of food. This is HUGE – I haven’t had to throw ANY food away this week! And twice – both at dinner time and both with the same preferred food – he finished an entire pouch in one sitting!
He has also been accepting drinks from his cup a lot more consistently this week, and that was definitely something I worked on a lot with him. We are back on nectar thick water, due to swallow study results, and I haven’t been working on water as much as I should be. This week, I really put my brain in a better place about it, and he has gotten some really good practice with it.
It hasn’t been without issues. He has had a couple instances of coughing fits – and a few short, quick coughs as well – but overall, he has done really well. 7 of 12 meals went off without a single cough! And every meal that he has accepted food, he has been very eager for the next bite. It has actually been really fun this week to feed him.
I know – from Kiran’s entire history and especially his feeding history – that this may not mean we have actually crossed some threshold and gotten to the next step. I know that he might start refusing food or struggling more, and I might be right back to throwing away expired food tomorrow. But I have also learned to bask in the victories. He has had such an awesome week, and I am so proud of him.
And I cautiously hope this is the start of him really enjoying food and wanting to experience it. We have a ways to go with his skills, but motivation will be a key factor in propelling him to where he needs to be.