Our Sam has returned from Grandma and Grandpa's. We missed all his silly little ways. Brother Z could hardly wait to wrestle him! Since his return, two joyful things have happened.
The first is his progress with trying new foods! Sam has struggled with eating different foods for a long time. We have gone through periods of him wanting a hot dog for breakfast, lunch and dinner for days. Whatever his food of choice, it often times will depend on texture, taste, color or smell. All of his issues with food made our attempts at GFCF Diet an additional challenge. Just the fact that his food selection was so limited, and then adding the other restrictions made him eat even less during those times.
His behavior when it comes to eating foods he doesn't like requires more than the usual tricks, food games, or the typical behaviors for picky kids his age. If something doesn't look a way he doesn't like, he will push everything away from him and scream, or throw the plate or food, or whatever is in his way. So it is much more easier with an autistic child, to give in to his "favs" just to make sure he eats. This is extra tricky when there is an older sibling like Sam's big brother Zach, who is not given a choice about what foods to try. So, we are trying to manage this delicate balancing act of being "fair" parents.
Sam's private SLP, Rachel has been a great resource. She has also been getting "famous" by getting some air time on a popular Twin Cities radio station doing daily "Autism" chats from a speech perspective. She recently finished training on a feeding program for autistic children, like Sam, who have feeding issues. We are in the middle of a 12 week program where I am also involved during the sessions. We are starting to see some good progress with Sam. But tonight was the best!!! We made a breakthrough at supper!!!! While I tried to feed Sam well as a baby, I made homemade baby food for him from the time he started eating. I was so proud buying organic veggies and fruit and pureeing them myself. He ate everything then. He even ate broccoli. Needless to say, that has not been the case the last three years, once we started "real" textured food. But tonight...tonight he did it!!! Sam ate the broccoli completely gone and wanted more. Now...granted...he ate with his front teeth still (sorry Rachel), but he did it. He also made it clear that he only liked the "branchy" part, not the stems, but who cares!!!! SAM ATE ANOTHER VEGGIE BESIDES GREEN BEANS!!!!!!!
Our second excitement was the first enjoyable bike ride in awhile. Our family loves biking together, and so does Sam. He just has a hard time after awhile, and something usually sparks a screaming adventure until we get home. But tonight was music to my ears...literally. We packed him into his burley with his usual stuffed dog and his real dog, our awesome West Highland White Terrier. Let's just say that our dog Chicago is the most patient and gentle soul of a dog I have known.
But back to tonight. This evening Sam serenaded me the whole first half of the ride. He sings songs about what we are doing a lot. For example, tonight's song was "bite wide, bite wide (bike ride), tado (chicago) wide too...(repeat about 100 times)". Watching him from my rear view mirror was a delight. He was happy, Chicago was happy, and he was singing and rubbing her back the whole first half.
But then we have the ride back. And tonight it was so peaceful. He just sat quiet (no sounds, no songs), just holding his bottom lip with his finger, pinching it. He was looking around with a peace and calmness that was so sweet.
So glad you are home Sam. Thanks for the enjoyable dinner and the sweet serenade. It was "broccoli to my ears"!