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I’ve learned in the three years that I’ve been a mother to Brody that timelines for kids are all different. Once you throw autism and a sensory processing disorder in the mix you may as well throw that timeline out the door. What works best or comes naturally for one child literally means nothing when it comes to another. When Brody was a baby and was attending an at home daycare I was trying to provide him with the best food possible. I was tirelessly making my own baby food, freezing it, individually packing it, well, you get the idea. Some red flags had been raised about this daycare and the care (or lack there of) that had been given to my child. He was always crying, screaming, and just overall cranky which is very unlike him. “A”, we will call the lady in charge, told me she was having a difficult time with him and was going to bring someone in from the state to evaluate the situation. To summarize it, Brody was being left in the pack and play and basically thrown cereal puffs, not included in group activities and not fed the food I was packing. He would eat fine at home for me and was a very good kid with little crying so is was quite a setback in his progress. He hasn’t touched a spoon or fork since then and through research and discussions with therapists I realized this is common with kids who have Brodys disabilities. His occupational therapist worked on this using vibrating toothbrushes, wrapping starburst on spoons and many other things to get him used to using a utensil or toothbrush. Nothing seemed to work and he has since switched schools and therapists with no progress made.
With almost every meal I put down utensils on the plate just Incase it seemed appealing. Last night my husband got a craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As always, he left out his plate and all the ingredients on the counter for me to tidy up this morning (so sweet) and Brody seemed to notice when we woke up. He pushed my hand towards the peanut butter and said, very excitedly, “YEA”! Considering his limited pallet with food, I was not going to say no. He cycles in and out of liking peanut butter and I know usually this is a big mess and don’t allow it before school because of this. For some reason this morning I felt brave and scooped him a small bowl full and put in a spoon like usual. He toddled right into the living room, set the bowl down, grabbed the spoon and started shoveling peanut butter into his mouth. I caught it out the corner of my eye and had to do a double take. I tiptoed over so I wouldn’t spook him and grabbed my phone to get a video. I was seriously in disbelief that this was happening and no one was here to witness this moment with me. I posted all over social media to my ever supportive friends who excitedly liked and commented and shared in my joy.
I swear, I could have skipped down the sidewalk and told everyone I passed the news. I told his teachers as I brought him to school, of course I called my mom and told her and thought about it the whole time I did cardio this morning. It’s just funny to me how my Facebook feed is splashed with babies ranging between 4 months and a year using utensils and proud parents gushing and I’m doing the same with my three year old. At the end of the day, although we are all on different paths and timelines, I’m just so happy for these sweet children and love witnessing their progression achievements. I hope they feel the pride and swelling of our hearts as we watch from the sidelines cheering so hard for our little ones. Today was a good day.