Today marks the worst day yet at Allie's feeding therapy. Allie is getting used to Ms. Anna and is starting to not listen to her demands. Right from the start, we decided to put Allie in a small room with very few distractions. We were attempting to improve Allie's intake but not bribe her with toys, etc. There were a couple toys on a small table in the corner of the room and Allie continued to get up and look at the toys. Ms. Anna told Allie that if she doesn't sit in her chair like a big girl, she was taking them out of the room. Well, of course Allie didn't listen so the toys were removed from the room. This was Allie's first meltdown.
There is also a mirror in the room attached to the wall. Allie continued to get out of her chair and dance in front of the mirror or just talk to herself in the mirror. Allie was using every technique and anything she could to distract her/us from eating her food. Ms. Anna decided to cover the mirror with a big floor mat so that Allie couldn't see herself in it anymore. The floor mat had stripes on it with different colors. Allie thought that was just as cool and started counting the stripes and telling us all the colors.
It seemed that no matter what we tried and how hard we tried to remove distractions, Allie was always one step ahead of us. I think next week, we will have to use a room with nothing in it except a table, chairs and our food.
At this point, Allie had eaten 1.5 chicken nuggets and 2 bites of yogurt. That is not nearly enough calories for a meal for her. Allie's goal was to finish her yogurt, eat 1.5 more chicken nuggets and attempt to take bites of string cheese and hopefully drink a little of her E028 Splash milk. At this point, Allie was simply refusing to eat anything more so we let Chloe leave the room to go in the play room - we were hoping this would motivate Allie to eat. It didn't - it just made Allie more mad. All through the meal, Allie was coughing and making herself gag. We would ignore her behavior and reward her when she stopped gagging. Keep in mind, Allie has no gagging issues, she just forces herself to do it to get attention.
Allie's previous Occupational Therapist stopped in the room to say, "Hi". Allie was very excited to see her and I figured it was a perfect opportunity to bribe Allie with some puzzles (since Sheena would bring Allie's puzzles every week and Allie loved it). We told Allie that if she ate 1.5 more chicken nuggets, Sheena would get her some puzzles. Allie took about 3 more bites and that was all. At this point, Allie was screaming and wanting to sit on my lap. I told Allie she could sit on my lap if she finished her last chicken nuggets. Well, instead of eating her nugget, Allie kept gagging herself until she threw up her whole meal. I was so frustrated!!! Allie hasn't thrown up since January and the fact that she made herself throw up made me even more upset. Allie didn't care that she threw up - she simply let me wipe her face and she was fine. Typical behavior for Allie.
After that, we closed the session and Allie wasn't aloud to play with any toys. I carried her out of the therapy room and we left. Allie was very upset that Chloe got to play with toys today but she didn't.
This is typical eating behavior for Allie. Along with not wanting to eat and trying to distract everyone in every possible way, she is a pro at pocketing food, spitting out partially chewed food and tearing food instead of biting it. There is no doubt Allie has some very bad behaviors when it comes to eating orally. The thing that is frustrating is that she can eat so nicely if she chooses to!
After leaving therapy, we ran to Target for a few things. Allie had her first "public" full meltdown. We were in line checking out (there were long lines). Allie was being very mean to Chloe so I picked up Allie (to remove her from the situation) and she was mad. She kicked and screamed for 10 minutes while we were waiting in line. I was so upset at Allie from what she pulled off at feeding therapy that this momma was not giving into her. I felt bad for all the people waiting to check out and even the people on the other side of the store because Allie was screaming loud. She even gagged herself but I knew her stomach was empty from vomiting at therapy so I was safe in that department.
Allie continued to scream and when we exited the store, we stood outside for another 10 minutes while Allie continued to scream. At this point, I had put her back int he cart and she crawled out and demanded I carry her. I would not pick her up - she either had to get in the cart or hold my hand in the parking lot. Let's just say tons of people were staring at us and i was more than embarrassed, however I was so determined to NOT GIVE IN.
Eventually, Allie took my hand and we walked to the car. There was a lady standing by her car who had been in the checkout by us. She looked at me and say, "good for you for not giving in. I have been in that situation and when so many people are staring and talking about your child, it's just easier to give in, but I'm proud of you for standing your ground". That was very nice to hear because there was no doubt, we were THAT mother and child in the store today.
As soon as we got home, I tucked Allie into bed and she slept from 1:00 to 5:00. Guess she just needed a nap because she had a very exhausting morning. Praying tomorrow is a better day for little Ms. Allie Rae!
This is Allie napping on her little rocking chair a couple days ago. She refused to take a nap and when I checked on her in the playroom, she was clonked out - my stubborn little princess!