Thursday, April 16, 2009

so far, so good

The last few days have been pretty good with Jackson and his "therapy" at home. For the last three days we have gotten a family meal around the table about 6 times at various meals, either breakfast or dinner. Jackson has already started to warm up to the idea of sitting at the table to eat. I had gotten in the bad habit of letting him eat on the run, in front of the t.v., or carting around snacks in the car to "take the hunger pains away". All of this to try to help avoid the anxiety and near panic attacks and the very mention that it was time to eat. 3 of the 6 meals jackson did eat one of his foods of choice (bacon or morning sticks) and seemed pretty low key about the whole thing. He is really responding to the reward chart and stickers. He has one chart for trying new foods and another for coming to the table and participating with the family (with no pressure to eat). We have decided that t.v. will be one reward for stars earned at the table and a trip to target for a small game or toy for stars on his eating chart.
It is interesting to note that jackson does very well in a busy restaurant environment and not so well at home. I don't know if that is because he knows the expectations we have when going out and he is on his best behavior or if for some sensory reason he does better with food being offered in a busy place.
This morning jackson came to the table for breakfast and said he didn't want to eat. I told him that was fine and he could just sit and visit with us while we planned out our day. I ate cereal and Logan ate pancakes. After 5 min or so jackson asked for bacon. I happily agreed to make him some. He ate one piece and then got upset. "my tummies are not working!" he said, "they feel sick" I told him he was doing a great job and we put a star on his chart for sitting at the table with us. He then said, "mom, I'm having a hard time eating, my tummy is sad". I hugged him and told him he did super and let him get down. He was obviously stressed and we let him remove himself from the table. He recovered nicely later. We went to the pool (yes, the pool, gotta love spring in louisiana!) Jackson saw his cousin riley order a blue raspberry icee and asked for one. I got him one. He cautiously tasted it and was thrilled. He LOVED it! Drank the whole darn thing! He reminded me that he needed a star sticker when we got home!
Tonight at dinner I grilled chicken, made tater tots and green beans and a salad. I set the table and put one tater tot on jackson's plate. (I found some that are letters and thought he would love to play with them). He came to the table and immediately got nervous. I told him I thought he would have fun spelling things with the letter tater tots and they were not to eat. He again asked for bacon, which I made, (baby steps here). John, logan, and I all started eating our grilled chicken and he ate his bacon. Half way through the meal, logan wanted to sit closer to his brother and moved his plate over next to him. Jackson got very upset and anxious about logan's plate full of food next to him and we had to move logan back to his chair. Overall, though, we seem to be making some very good baby steps forward!!!
Sorry for the crazy long rambling post. Just trying to keep up with everything!


Kristina said...

I hope you are not annoyed by me always commenting on these posts, but I love them! I know what a Huge deal it is to see these accomplishments, although they may seem small to some! I wanted to mention that it is quite possible that the eating better in restaurants (busy environments) is because it may be a similar experience as eating in front of the t.v. ....the distractions make the eating more of a reflexive action. when taken away the anxiety returns---but getting away from that by having the family meals without those distractions is key and you are doing just that!! Eating out is Fun though and that may be a good time to try a few different foods!

Sara said...

kristina, I LOVE your comments! I am so glad you are checking in and keeping up. I credit you with the final push that got us where we need to be right now! thanks for the input and I always value your advice!!!

Yvette said...

Hi Sara - I'm not sure you know who I am...Karena's sister-in-law. I would like to follow your blog if you don't mind. I find this very interesting! As you may know, I am a Special Ed. Teacher. I have never taught a child formally diagnosed with this. We live in Gonzales now, and one of my student goes to Abilities, and had had great success. Good luck! Your boys are absolutely precious...I keep thinking of them as the Immagination Movers!

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