Sunday, March 15, 2009

Food Therapy. Session 1

This morning I thought I would seize an opportunity to work with jackson with no little 3 year old little brother interuptions. I have heard wonderful things about food therapy for kids like jackson and I thought why not give it a try (since there seems to be no help in this area for this kind of therapy). Our goal: to play with food in a fun and happy way with no anxiety about being around a new food item.

I decided to experiment with graham cracker stick, since this is his favorite safe food. I bought graham cracker sandwiches with fudge inside to see if he would be willing to work with something seemingly familiar but a little different. At first I asked jackson if he would help me make a tower with the keebler cookies and he very strongly refused. Exploring a little more, he said, "they are dirty, they will hurt my hands" yes, there were some crumbs from dumping the entire box of cookies onto the counter. So I threw away any broken ones and dusted them off and he seemed relaxed enough to continue. I did have his favorite computer game also on the counter as incentive. I challenged him to who could stack the most cookies and then let him play his game for a minute in between playing with the new food.

As Jackson's comfort increased, I moved forward a little. We turned off the compter game and focused just on playing. I got out his favorite morning sticks and some small tootsie rolls (which he will eat both of) and he got really excited. I showed him that taking apart the keebler cookies, there was chocolate inside. Then asked him to open a tootsie roll. He said, look, they are the same!! He actively helped me take apart several cookies and play with them. We then squished his tootsie rolls in between his graham cracker sticks and made our own sandwiches. He responded very well to this and ate 2 tootsie rolls in the process!!

I tried to move onto goldfish and was going to have him help me with making a big rainbow on the counter but as soon as he saw them he started with, "I don't like those, I'm not hungry!" Anxiety shot up and we ended our first, and very successful food therapy session.

I would love any ideas from other mom's/therapists who have played with food for some ideas on games and foods to try with jackson!!!


Kristina said...

Look at you go, Awesome!! I do want to mention something that is helpful for all of my patients...incorporating the 'clean up'by throwing the food away into the trash at then end. That way no matter what he is willing to eat or touch for too long..its a natural way to desensitize him to the 'dirty' gritty feeling he has. You can always casually tell him "its ok, just wipe it on the napkin if it bothers you" or tell him he can lick it off if he wants(bold i know). Either way have him help with the clean up in the end! great job!

Sara said...

thanks! you were so motivating and helpful. said...

how much does one of those boxes of graham cracker sticks cost? can't we just recycle them? j/k

Kristina said...

haha! you can throw them all into the food processor and make a pie crust out of them i guess! mmmm!

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