18 hours ago
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Get-out-of-guilt free pass
Max has always loved to eat, from the first time we gave him food (pureed peas) to the ravioli he downed with gusto tonight. But it's never been easy for him. Those pureed peas wouldn't stay in his mouth; he had trouble moving his tongue, and he'd end up thrusting food back out. I remember being so surprised—I never imagined eating could be a challenge. Meals could take a good hour, hour and a half.
Early on, a speech therapist recommended food thickener, flavorless powdered starch that could instantly thicken up liquids or foods. I never bought it, and I'm not sure why. Probably because it was just another thing to do, and we already had a lot on our list. Probably because I thought/hoped Max would outgrow his eating challenges. Probably denial.
Max has gotten better at food retention, as it's called, but liquids are a serious challenge. They dribble right out of his mouth and soak his clothing.
Last month, a speech therapist sent home a can of this stuff (I think Andy Warhol would have been proud of this shot):
And, wow. It really is like magic. I put several tablespoons into Max's chocolate milk, and he was easily able to spoon it up. We've been using it regularly ever since, even in stuff like ravioli, and it's made eating so much easier for him.
I guess I could beat myself up for not trying it sooner. But I'm not going there.