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Getting Started with Food Chaining: "Z" Continues to Make Gains

Posted Oct 13 2009 10:06pm
UPDATE: Taja and I talked more about Z's eating and I explored his daily intake. Liquid intake of the caloric supplement and other liquids is still quite high. We reduced it gradually, still giving him his drink but with less in the cup. This should give him a gentle sense of appetite stimulation. The GI wanted to use Periactin, however, without looking at the liquid intake, that would have been a mistake. Z's little belly is full of liquid and like a gas tank, when he is full there is no need to eat. I also want to clone Z's new therapist! She is doing a great job.

TAJA: How are you? Today has been a big day for Z. First of all the GI finally got back to me and told me that the biopsy is normal! So I guess that rules out medical reasons except for the reflux. She also told me that the the University of ___ GI team does not feel that the facility we discussed has an approach that is good. They feel that Food chaining is a much better method and told my GI that they have known several success cases by using this approach. Go Food Chaining!!! She told me that she is willing to write a script for Z if we decide to go to the Koke Mill Clinic. I called today and was told that your psychologist would call us next week.
As for Z's eating.We have added an additional occupational therapy session, so Z is going 3 times a week now. Twice with the therapist that he has been seeing and now with another therapist who worked with our daughter, A, when she was a baby. Today was the first day with the new therapist. It was a great session, for one thing is made it very fun. I remembered what you said about that there should be no gagging, or vomiting in any session and I guess that by making it fun you can alleviate the anxiety that can cause these reactions. She first she had Z play in the ball pit and go down the slide a couple of times. I am guessing that this was for sensory warm-ups. Then she brought out some stuff that looked like play-doh, but was more gooey. Z played with it no problem. Then she brought out a box full of different spoons. A and Z picked one. Then she had them play kiss the spoon, counting their teeth with the spoon etc. This brought on a lot of laughs. I am believe that she was doing oral stimulation, but Z was doing it to himself, giving him total control. Then she brought out bowls and had him pour some Gerber puffs into a bowl. He loves Gerber puffs. Then she had every one eat one. Then she had him eat more and told him to make sure that he put it on the side. Z has an overactive gag reflex and will gag if the food is placed on the tongue even the front of the tongue. Then she had him open some baby food. Here is when I thought the gagging would start. Then she had him use his spoon and put some in his bowl. Then she had everyone dip their spoon in the baby food and just lick it off the spoon with their tongue. Z just took some quick pokes of his tongue to the spoon, but no gagging at all. I was so amazed. They keep on laughing and making it playful.He did ask her are we were going to do this a lot and she said no. Then he asked how many times and she said 5 times. So they took turns licking the spoon and counting. The therapist was so amazed by A, because the last time she saw her, A refused everything. Now she was licking the spoon mixing the puffs and baby food and taking it no problem. Goes to show that feeding disorder can be overcome, with therapy and time. Next the therapist had everyone dip their finger in the baby food and lick it off their finger. Z at first still wanted to use the spoon and then she said just try your finger. So he did, he only make faces when he licked it like it was bitter. Overall I couldn't believe it.

Later that day the therapist called me and said that she wanted to try to make a plan to transition the eating to home. She told me to bring an apple and toast to the next session. She also went through exactly what Z would eat with me. I told her that Z likes foods that tend to be orange or yellow. She said that they would try some carrots. I mentioned how he would say that he wants carrots and how I gave him canned carrots and you had said that raw ones were better and she said yes. Just like you she said that we should buy carrots and just have him play with them hold them or touch his teeth with them, not to even think about him eating them right now just playing with them. She also suggested that we make french fries at home. Let Z watch how we cut them and season them and bake them and see if he would eat them. So my husband did this today he said that he cut them and Z kept on saying that isn't french fries that is a potato. So my husband told him yes the potato is mom and the french fries are her babies. But Z started to have a fit over it and didn't want to look at them so my husband started to throw them and make a game of catch the fries and Z loved the game.So he didn't eat them, but at least he touched them. Now that Z eats Tator tots and hash browns what should we chain next? I tried steak fries, but he saw the potato skin and said it was dirty and refused to eat them. So he didn't eat them.
Also I thought that I would mention how I think that Z is very sensitive to the smell of food. I notice that some days he won't sit at the dinner table with us, because he says that the food we are eating smells.
Well here is another long update, but I had a a lot to share:)
Hope all is well with you,

That is great news. I think your therapist sounds wonderful. We can hold off having you come see us for now if you want. If you need us we can be there for you. Just think it over. Cheryl can go ahead and call you and do the intake though. Why don't we see how this goes for a few more sessions and then have you come if needed. I don't know if I want to interrupt this process.

I would also suggest having the therapist explore pureed "real" food using the Magic Bullet instead of baby food. That can be fun and very educational about food like real fruit and veggies. The kids like to push down on the Magic Bullet and see food mixed. I have done watermelon and strawberry slushies (strawberry-real strawberries 1 or 2 of them, ice, strawberry ice cream topping and process for a few seconds, add decorative straws, etc). Yogurt, ice cream or ice based drinks...lots of fun. Laura put a chicken nugget in the Magic Bullet and she had a dry type crumble that the kids ate as crumbs on their fingers. They laughed and laughed about what happened to the chicken nugget and soon the child was eating regular ones. (Note: these flakes can also be added to gravy, mashed potato or pasta sauce-think Chicken Parmesan in your mind- to introduce meat flake to food)
I am ok, been a rough week. So impressed with what you are doing. I am so happy to hear that someone knows about us in your area. I wish more people knew and understood Food Chaining. The time will come I hope. When people do it wrong it does not work. When done right, it can turn things around so quickly.
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