As I said before, we engaged a private Speech therapist for Elise this summer. She was able to get some additional time with her by adding a "feeding" portion to her appointments. I was hopeful, but to be completely honest, I wasn't sure it would make a significance difference without a LOT of intervention. But I felt that whatever time she could spend on it and interacting with the therapist would not be wasted.
For those who have missed some key points, on top of the Downs, Elise has some serious, and somewhat debilitating sensory issues. These were also aggravated by the effects of the chemo. The flavors of things got really "Off" for a while. Eating has been a serious nightmare for about 8 years now...
Scroll forward to today, Elise was hungry (when is she not??) and was whining to eat. I said sure, she could have a couple for bites of the pork I was putting in supper...and she snarfed them down quickly and started begging for more. I said that the rest was mine and I had already mixed the pulled pork in with some spinach and drizzled some rasberry vinegarette on it. She, of course, was not willing to back down, yet. Finally, I offered her a bite, usually she backs down on that one..but she said "Ahh". So I let her have a bite. She gobbled it down and begged for more...and more...and MORE. She ate 6 BIG bites. Usually looking at spinach on her plate will cause her to gag. BUT SHE ATE IT!! I was seriously shocked.
Also, our littlest has serious allergies to dyes and preservatives. So we have slowly been overhauling our eating habits. Everything has been changed. And Elise has really not enjoyed it. AT ALL. But she's getting used to it. And even, in some cases, really coming to like it!!
This week alone, she has eaten and ENJOYED:
Scratch hummus and pita chips (although she's been caught sneaking it on corn chips!)
Spaghetti with pulled pork, fresh basil, fresh diced tomatoes and parmesean cheese, topped with mozzarella
Homemade greek yogurt ice cream
Honey on her pancakes
Applesauce on peanut butter toast
At therapy she has eaten pistachios and almonds. She bit a carrot (and then spit it out). And both of those are HUGE.
Okay. You may not be properly impressed. But consider this. Elise does NOT eat new food without retching. She eats only combinations she recognizes. She would happily subsist on crackers and toast.
I am really excited that we will be able to pull off real meals MUCH sooner than I would have EVER expected. EVER!!