Jake’s Fingers: Jake vs. Jello

This week has been a time of discovery and trying old things in a new way.  Every toddler’s brain is something of a mystery, but Jake’s is especially hard to crack because of his sensory disorder and speech delays.  I think we made some good progress.  I hope.

Last week, I realized that Jake doesn’t eat as well for me as he does for Becky.  So, this week, I decided to throw everything out the window and try something different.  After lots of trial and error, I discovered that Jake seems to do best when I just leave him alone to try new foods.  Before, I would sit with him, prompt him, eat some of it myself, tell him how yummy it was, and generally be really enthusiastic about whatever I was trying to get him to eat.  Since that wasn’t working, this week I tried giving him food and doing something else.  I would e-mail, clean up the kitchen, read a book, play with the dogs, basically do anything that would keep me close enough to keep an eye on him, but not be actually involved in the process.  He ate chicken sticks, veggie sticks, sesame sticks, goldfish crackers, and even attempted a graham cracker.  Maybe he just needed some time to think it all over.

The funny thing is that I can really identify with Jake.  On all the personality tests, when I get to the “how do you prefer to work”, I always check off the box that says something about liking to receive instruction and then be left to figure it out on my own.  I’ve known that Jake and I share the independent streak, I just didn’t apply it to his eating.  I’m really encouraged by all of this and hoping that we can continue to make some progress.  The funny thing about Jake, and probably all children, is once I think I have him figured out, he’ll do something totally different.  So, maybe next week I’ll tell you all about how I had to dance the can-can with his food on my head before he would eat it!

I got the call this morning that I’ve been waiting for from the Resource Exchange and Jake’s assessment is scheduled for June 8th.  Based on how he does during that assessment, we’ll be able to receive free services for him.  Is it bad to hope that he refuses to do anything that morning?  🙂 

I did hear from the other organization that we were approved but for more than we can afford to pay.  We had to put down what we could afford and then they came back with a higher amount.  I’m not terribly surprised but was a little disappointed.  I was told that there is an appeal process, which I will be beginning this afternoon.

Even though Jake still speaks his own little language, I think I can hear some attempt at English.  We were playing together a few days ago and I said something really emphatically to him ( I don’t remember what it was), and he smiled and said part of it back to me.  I spend a few minutes every day walking around the house with Jake, pointing and things and encouraging him to repeat the name.  This morning, he finally said, “noon”, which was as close to “moon” as I’ve heard him get.  It’s not perfect, but at least he’s trying!

This week at his therapy, Jake did the opposite of what he normally does.  Remember that thing I said about once you have your kids figured out?  This time, Becky got to experience the little boy who rolls his eyes and hangs over the side of the highchair anytime new food is introduced.  He did work with a few things and by far the funniest was with Jello.  Becky finally got him to hold it in his hand, but all he would do was stare at it with a horrified look on his face.  He eventually dumped it on the table and poked at it with his finger, but that still counts as interacting.  Becky told me a really wonderful recipe of peanut butter and powdered sugar that helps peanut butter be less scary.  It will also make my thighs more scary, but Jake and I will just have to do a few more miles every week.  🙂

All in all, it was a very good week and I think I’ll be making Jello to see if we can get the horrified expression off Jake’s little face.  Not too far down the road, I know he’ll skip into the kitchen and ask in a clear little voice for “more Jello, please”.  That will be a very good day!

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