Monday, May 2, 2011

feeding therapy update

I thought I would post an update on Grace's feeding therapy since I have had a lot of questions about how it is going so far.  For the record, I am a realist.  I would so love to be an optimist but I'm not.  I'm a realist, who sometimes looks at life like an optimist but mostly I try and keep it real.  That doesn't mean I'm a pessimist, who looks at life and sees only the depressing or negative.  I look at life and see all it's possibilities, but am grounded in the reality of what really happens here on earth.  I married an optimist and that plus my faith in God's sovereignty keeps me positive!

Anyway, back to Grace's feeding therapy update.  She has had four sessions so far and has basically not made any progress.  The first several sessions allowed Grace to get used to Michelle (her ST) and the room.  Grace easily adapted to having Michelle feed her, which I'm pretty sure is due to the fact that she goes to school and has different people feed her. 

During last week's session, Michelle and I decided that Grace and Michelle would go into the feeding room and I would go into the observation room.  Actually, Michelle told me that was what was going to happen and I agreed.  I was a little apprehensive about observing because I knew that Michelle was going to challenge Grace and she would cry or get upset.  Which, as horrible as it sounds, I'm okay with Grace crying in therapy.

Grace has had to be pushed outside of her comfort zone to reach each and every milestone she has ever reached.  So I knew that bringing her to a feeding clinic would be challenging for her and change is hard.  I remember bringing her to the same therapy clinic when we were trying to teach her to walk, and she would cry every session.  I sat in the waiting room all those months ago and would sit there with silent tears streaming down my face as I heard her crying and protesting in the back.  But all the while, I knew that it wasn't hurting her and that one day she would walk.  It doesn't mean that it made it any easier for me to listen too (and I finally wised up and left the clinic for her sessions) but it worked and today she runs after her brothers.

Her session on Friday did not go well.  It did not go badly either.  It was hard for Grace to be asked to do things that she doesn't want to do and it made her cry (and scream and look around for me and try to escape from her chair).  But in all reality, what she was being asked to do wasn't hard.  Michelle wanted Grace to hold the spoon and bring it to her mouth.  That is all.  And it caused Grace to freak out.  I did not like watching my daughter's discomfort from the observation room.  She was easily calmed down my Michelle and was able to complete her session.  But I told Michelle that I did not enjoy the observation room and wouldn't be watching therapy from there anymore.  It's too hard for me to watch them push Grace to do the things that she needs to do, that any "typical" child can and wants to do from a really young age. 

So from now on, I'll be sending Grace back to therapy without alone.  The cafeteria sells Starb@cks and there is a really great gift shop off the main lobby.  Or maybe I'll bring a book and find a quiet spot to read for an hour by myself.  Anyway, Grace has not made any progress so far with her therapy, but the challenging part has just begun.  We pray that Grace will be able to quickly make improvements and begin feeding herself.  But since I live in the real world, I'm thinking it's going to take a little while...


Gardenia said...

This must be difficult. But I think it's probably better that you're a realist rather than hoping for big steps when baby steps are what is more of the reality. Praying for a better session next time, and success for Grace.

noreen said...

Hi Anne, I think you have the right attitude with Grace's therapy. You can see things more clearly when you're dealing with reality and not the reality you wish it to be. She will progress because you are a fabulous mother and are doing what's best for your daughter. Grace is on her own timeline and that's ok too. God knew what he was doing when he gave your precious daugther to you and your family!

Love the pictures of her!

Will keep your family in my prayers!

Suzanne said...

Hi Anne, I have never blogged before! I was on line looking for feeding therapy advice because I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter who has been in feeding therapy since she was 18 months. She still does not know how to chew food! It blows my mind, and sometimes I just don't know if what I am doing is the correct approach. Sometimes it is really difficult to stay positive. Your daughter is adorable and I hope she has made progress. .