This week has been filled with meetings and evaluations. One evaluation was at a private clinic for OT services. By now you know that I’m determined to get Jay all the services that he needs that we can get for free or that we can afford with our insurance. It’s the same place that he currently gets his speech therapy. Not surprisingly he was approved so we’ll be starting him with the extra OT soon. (Yay!)
They will work on fine motor skills like stringing beads and using scissors etc. In addition, they want to work on things like correct pencil grip, writing and coloring but we will 1st need to establish a dominant hand. So far we’ve been unable to determine if he’s a lefty or a righty. He tends to go back and forth between the 2. He does favour his left leg when going up stairs and my Mom and 1 of my sisters are lefties so that’s somewhere in his blood I guess.
What we didn’t notice before that the evaluator pointed out is that he takes hold of an object or kicks a ball based on which of his sides it’s closer to. For example, if you are standing on his right side and give him something he will take it with his right hand. Or if you place a crayon down on the table to the left of him he will pick it up with his left hand and scribble with that same hand. Get it? Cool.
We also talked with the evaluator about our concerns over his eating. Or NOT eating. It has become a real issue. He seems to be healthy and he seems to have energy and he seems to be learning but he needs and I need him to eat. He was always picky but it has really gotten out of control now. It’s way beyond … “Oh he’ll be fine. My son was a picky eater too and now he eats everything” … Yeah, thanks for those words to all the people who thought that would help but my child will only ingest cheese doodles (his favourite), pretzels (sometimes), raisins, cereal bars (Kellogg’s brand) and Rainbow Trix cereal. Oh and now candy canes. I’m not kidding. That’s it. He doesn’t even drink water. He’ll only drink fruit juice and strawberry milk.
We’ve tried every trick in the book but his stubbornness (sensory issues) wins out every time and I’m left holding the failure bag. It feels like the ultimate failure. Provide food and safety for my children. That’s my job. Everything else is the icing and cherries on top.
The OT evaluator suggested that we make an appointment with yet another hospital nearby that specializes in working with children who have eating disorders/issues. The term eating disorder sounds scary as hell. After all we’ve already gone through, I don’t know why going to the hospitals website and filling out their application was so particularly difficult. But it was. It hit me right in my heart of hearts.
My son has autism. OK. This journey will be challenging. OK. I get it. You win some and you lose some in this mess of a life we have. We don’t worry about him running away/getting lost more than any other child. We don’t worry about him physically hurting himself or other people. We don’t have to resist our urges to hug him or play with him or engage him in any way. We have blessings galore! So am I being greedy? Is it really too much to ask that my son not mal-nourish himself to death???