Posts Tagged ‘SPD’


Due to food tactile issues my middle daughter, dear Sweet Girl, has food difficulties causing a restrictive diet.  We can thank Sensory Processing Disorder for this.  She has recently figured out that there are some foods that she might otherwise enjoy if it weren’t for the texture.  I don’t press her on the issues, ie. I don’t force her to eat what she doesn’t like.  If we did that then it means she’s far less likely to willingly give that particular food another chance in the future in case she decides the texture, taste, or odor are tolerable.

I will offer her foods I’m sure she would dislike and has declined in the past just in case she chooses to try it because we’ve had success with that.  Sometimes there’s success and sometimes there isn’t.  Sometimes she’ll taste it and swallow it, but never takes another bite.  That’s a success.  Most times she lets it sit on her tongue, or touches it with the tip of her tongue, and then runs to the sink or garbage can to spit it out and then rinses her mouth with a drink she enjoys.  If she remembers to spit it into a receptacle that’s success.  The rest of the time it ends up spat out vigorously on the floor complete with facial expressions and vocalizations letting me know just how offensive it was.

I know that she’s lucky in that she’s willing to try new foods at all even with a limited palate and limitations due to food sensitivities.

Well.  Tofu in any form typically ends up on the floor.  In the past couple of weeks, she held it in her mouth long enough to make it to the garbage can.  I was just happy that she was willing to taste it to see what spices I was using to prepare it.  Each and every time, she insisted it was nasty all over with a nasty texture.  With vigorous spitting.  🙂  She’s turned it into a joke, trying it just so that she can spit it out in a spit take like on TV.

Last night I cubed up some extra firm tofu.  I put it in a pan with a little butter and olive oil, chili powder, cumin, dried onions, and Lawry’s salt.  Just enough to season the olive oil and coat the tofu.  Then I tossed the tofu enough to heat it through and soften the dried onions.  Darling Girl took half, and I took the other.

While watching TV with our bowls of tofu, Sweet Girl came over and started sniffing the air.  I looked at her suspiciously, and wondered if I should bother making the offer or just give up.  I could tell by her body language that she was expecting me to make the offer, so I told her what I used to cook the tofu with.

“Hm. Spicy.”

So she was anticipating what the flavors would be like.  Interesting.  She still looked at the bowl and came closer, so I offered her a small bite.  She chewed it and rolled it on her tongue which alone was progress regarding tofu.

Because it was expected behavior, she ran to the toilet and I could hear her spit and flush.

But then she came back with the same expectant look that I would offer her a bite.  I’m a glutton for punishment, so I offered her another bite.

“Mmm.  Mmm.”

And she CHEWED IT.

And she SWALLOWED IT.

And she OPENED HER MOUTH FOR MORE.

What?

She gobbled down half of my bowl.  That means she ate a quarter of a container of tofu.  She was extremely proud of herself for ignoring and then “getting over” the texture enough to decide that maybe it could be enjoyable.  She even asked me to make it again the exact same way.

WHAT?

I’ll be honest… it’s the next day and my head is still spinning.  Small steps. Success.

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Gracie 9 yrs old

Gracie 9 yrs old

Bathing time is a battle nearly every single time.  It’s rare that The Girl will ask to bathe without prompting.  Oh, and by the way, she hates it when I refer to her or her sisters as The Girl when I’m talking to the cats.  “Awww, Luna, did The Girl annoy you while you were sleeping?” Yeah, that gets a reprimand from Gracie.  She’s not The Girl in real life because of course she has a name that must be used.  I think that’s funny because she’s a child who loves word games.  She loves words that have dual meanings and dual spellings.  She despises similes, metaphors, analogies, and idioms, but she loves other types of word play.  However, that doesn’t mean I don’t use all of that to my advantage.

Sometimes all it takes is a play on words to get Gracie to do something that I need her to do.  I guess it’s a form of reverse psychology along the lines of, “Oh no, you locked yourself in the bathroom!” versus “Oh no, she locked us out of the bathroom!” wording.  I figured out how to get the child to bathe.  This is a Very Big Deal.   The ODD part of the Autism takes over and it’s almost always a battle.

“Gracie, it’s time for a bath.”

“I don’t need a bath.  I don’t stink.”

“It’s a good time to have a bath.  Your hair will be soft and we can get the marker and dirt off of your skin.”

“I DON’T WANT A BATH! I HATE BATHS! SHUT UP!”

“Gracie, if you don’t take a bath, I’m going to take your bath for you!”

“NO! IT’S MY BATH!”

::stomps upstairs while stripping::

Part of the trick is being willing to follow through with my “threat.”  Sometimes I have to go so far as to step into the tub with my clothes on, although she’s called me on that one once or twice so I also sometimes have to start taking my own clothes off.  That gets her to shove me out of the way and hop into the bath tub with a fierce,

“HA! I GOT IN FIRST! YOU’RE TOO BIG! IT’S MY BATH! YOU! CAN’T! TAKE! IT!”

Of course once she’s in the tub, she doesn’t want to get out.  🙂  I’m guessing this won’t work through the teen years or into her twenties.  WTF will I do then?

It was once explained to me that while it feels wonderful to be in the bath, as it’s great for sensory processing, it’s the transition from wearing clothesto “not wearing clothes” … then from being in the air and dry to being in the water… then from the water changing temperatures … dry hair to wet hair

… and then having to get out again and the anticipation of it all on top of the transitional changes and sensory issues.  I get that, I really do.  Which is why I’m relieved that for now, playing with words the way Gracie seems to enjoy doing distracts her so much from the initial transition of difficult sensory changes.

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This is a continuing controversy that has been debunked over and over and over ad nauseum scientifically.  It’s been discussed in circular arguments.

This is an excellent blog post as to why that e-mail forward about monkeys somehow proving the MMR vaccines and/or mercury in vaccines are to “blame” for autism is so ridiculous.

The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism: Whacking Monkeys In the Name of Science.

 

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Ixodes ricinus (Linnaeus, 1758)

My girls all came home from school happy and cheerful and it was a wonderful homecoming.  They all greeted me, smiled, and there weren’t any hints of sibling armageddon.

Then came the e-mail titled simply with Sweet Girl’s name on it.

FYI!!

Mrs. Para-Professional pulled a tick off of G’s pants today after recess. You might want to give her a good look when she gets home today.

Teacher

*names have been changed to protect those who have not given permission to participate

Is it horrible of me that my first thought was, “Of course it’s the child with Sensory Integration Disorder that needs a tick check?”  My next thought was, “Of course it’s the child with the thickest, curliest, coarsest hair, longest hair.  This is going to be so much fun.”

For the record, it was the opposite of pleasant.  This is one part of parenting that “they” don’t tell you about before becoming a parent.  The necessity of tick checks and the joy of doing them.  How thorough you have to be in doing them.  How you have to explain it to your child adequately and get across how important it is without giving them panic attacks.

During the tick check, she did help.  I had her in the bath tub to make it easier, and we made sure that her freckles weren’t ticks.  The girl who hates freckles.  I think she was hoping her freckles were ticks so that they would come off.  She kept trying to convince me that each freckle was a tick and needed to be scraped off.  Yeah… one freckle has a soon-to-be scab next to it now.

Luckily we came away mostly unscathed.  My daughter is tick-free.  Being such, it’s time to go prepare the lovely rotisserie chicken that The Mister was kind enough to pick up from the grocery store for supper.

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