Today was a day for discoveries. Lots were good, some of them, I’ll have to wait and see how they turn out.
Our first discovery is that Jake likes being ignored. But, only when he’s trying to eat something new. I ignore him the rest of the day and I get tiny hands patting the backs of my legs. (Which I love.) Last week Becky and I were talking and Jake ate a chicken stick. This week, the same thing happened. While we were talking about his week, Jake shoved a cheeto in his mouth, the same cheeto that we had been trying to get him to eat for the last three minutes. This week, I’ll be extending snack therapy to at least a half hour with lots of ignoring between food introductions to see if we are really on to something here!
The next discovery is that Jake doesn’t know how to spit. Normally, mothers would be very thankful that their two-year old boys can’t spit. However, when the little boy in question has a sensory disorder that makes it so he loves, loves, loves to stuff his mouth, he needs to be able to spit a too-big mouthful out. So, guess what I get to do this week? Yup. Chew my food and spit it out. I’m really glad I have a sense of humor about this and don’t mind being gross. Otherwise, I’d be out of luck.
Becky realized this week that Jake still isn’t chewing. I knew that already, but this was the first time it really came up, since his lunch just about came up from the gagging. It seems that anything soft just gets gummed up, pushed around, and sucked on until he can swallow it. The only thing he consistently chews are chips. So, Jake will be eating chips, chips, chips until he can put chewing chips together with chewing everything else.
I found out that one of the physical therapists is in her final year of her psychology degree and is trying to find patients to see at no charge, especially those who have children in Jake’s program. I am planning to sign up to talk with her in the next few weeks. I feel (mostly) stable about all of this, but I truly believe in seeing a counselor when life gets overwhelming. Even though I’m not about to jump off a cliff, I don’t want to even toe the edge before I get help. I think talking with a professional a few times could keep me safely away from the edge.
On the discouraging side of the discoveries is that our insurance is going to run out in nine more sessions. So, that may mean that we stop feeding therapy altogether and just go to physical therapy since Jake really needs that as well. I’m pretty aggravated that we don’t have more time with our therapists. All hope is not lost yet and there are several avenues ahead of us to be tried. Among other things, we may need to try to add Jake back to Greg’s health insurance, which is more expensive, but will cover more sessions, our current insurance may extend his treatment, we may go to every other week to spread out his remaining appointments a while longer, as well as a few other ideas. I’m just bummed that our insurance won’t give us what we need. Since his therapy is thousands of dollars a month without insurance and that’s more than we could find in our couch cushions, we’ll have to try to be creative with insurance. I’m not giving up hope, or even letting myself be discouraged yet. Becky is going to try to work out a few things this week and we’ll have better information next week. And, even if we can’t have formal therapy, Becky will help me with lots of ideas for things to work with him on my own, which will enable us to save up the money to get him in every once in a while for a tune up.
Even though we may be coming to an end of our therapy for the calendar year, I’m really encouraged by how far we’ve come. In January, he wasn’t eating anything, wouldn’t touch anything, could barely walk, and was making very little progress towards talking. As I sit and watch him munch on things on his food tray and then calmly take a sip out of his cup, I’m pretty amazed by my little monkey. He wants so much to be brave and do the scary things. I’m sure we’ll get where we need to be eventually.
Right now, it’s off to the supermarket to get chips for Jake. And maybe some Chips Ahoy for mama. I need to model eating high calorie food, right? 🙂
No reason for this picture besides it’s really cute!