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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

My Little Cricket’s Delay: Eating

I have been putting off working on the diet for my Little Cricket. A diet is the cornerstone of how a body functions. My Little Cricket is a picky eater, he won’t eat meat, he won’t eat things that are mixed, he won’t eat rice or noodles. Even the things he used to eat are becoming less and less preferred. I know autistic children have sensitivities to food and textures but my Little Cricket needs a more stable well rounded diet to feed his mind and body and prepare him for his therapies.

I have been trying to get my Little Cricket to eat better but I have been unsuccessful. I also have a hard time making a distinction in my head, is this a toddler thing, or an autistic thing. If I knew which it was I would have an easier time handling it. I don’t know what to do so we are trying Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding (SOS) http://spdstar.org/sos-feeding-solutions/ a feeding program that is an effective way to address problematic eating behaviors.

“The approach integrates sensory, motor, oral, behavioral/learning, medical, and nutritional factors and approaches in order to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding problems.”

Thankfully when looking for an occupational therapist I made sure to not only have them be trained with a listening program (advancedbrain.com) but also able to deal with problem eaters. The OT that I selected is trained in the SOS approach and can help us get my Little Cricket eating a greater variety of foods. The initial step was to record him eating a preferred food and then a non-preferred food and to be sure to show how the child sits in their chair. These are the two videos I sent.





Our therapist watched the videos and decided that my Little Cricket would be a candidate for SOS. She also wrote up some initial notes from the video. The things that stood out to her the most.
- Sometimes, he places his finger in his mouth to help get the food in, which could indicate immature tongue tip lateralization (I can show you tomorrow) and he is using his fingers to help push the food to his back teeth in order to chew and swallow the food but I will have to look at this more closely when we do our feeding session together
- The spoon you are using with him it too large and there is too much food on it, it would almost be like someone loading up one of those large wooden spoons you cook with full of food and then bringing it toward your mouth and wanting you to eat it
- Try to never bribe him with anything. If he could handle eating the corn or noodles, he would, especially if there was an M&M afterwards. My job is to build his oral motor skills and sensory skills to be able to handle types of foods like corn and pastas.
- He is eating the peanuts and the bread because they are the easiest foods to eat from an oral motor standpoint. The corn has a chewier/tougher outer layer and then juice squirts out of them, which is really hard for the mouth to handle and also the pasta noodles may be too big. Also noodles are slippery and getting him to keep the noodles on a spoon or fork requires a lot of effort and his energy may be spent with doing that and he is over eating it.

After deciding to start the plan and having been accepted I was asked to make several lists. She wanted a list of my Little Cricket’s preferred foods, what is a general breakfast/lunch/dinner day look like, what he used to eat but will no longer eat and a list of my goal foods.

PREFFERED FOODS
- Mac and cheese
- American cheese slice
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- peach slices
- Tostito Chips
- honey bunches of oats cereal
- French fries
- peanuts
- Sweet Hawaiian Rolls
- Granola bar

GENERAL BREAKFAST
Cereal (Raisin Bran, Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats)
Oatmeal with brown sugar and raisins
toast with butter
Raisin bread
multi grain waffle with syrup or peanut butter

GENERAL LUNCH/DINNER
Mac and cheese
Grilled Cheese Quesadilla
Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Chicken nuggets (not often)
peanut butter and jelly sandwich

VEGETABLES
pickles
cucumbers
Frozen peas
edamame

FRUIT
banana
grapes
peaches
mango
cantaloupe
watermelon
tangerines
pear

DAIRY
yogurt
American cheese slice

SNACKS
Peanuts
dried cranberries
raisins
fruit snacks
crackers
pretzel sticks
Tostito chips
lara bar
granola bar

WHAT HE USED TO EAT BUT WON’T EAT ANYMORE
corn
spaghetti with meat sauce (Blended)
chicken noodle soup (blended)
carrots
butternut squash
zucchini
Sweet potato

GOAL FOODS
salmon, grilled chicken, filet, lamb
eggs hard boiled and scrambled
spaghetti with meat sauce
chicken noodle soup
rice
carrots, broccoli, zucchini, butternut squash
hummus, black beans, refried beans
tomatoes, apple, avocado
wheat bread

We are beginning the program Monday and I cannot wait to see where we are at the end of the 12 week program.

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