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self feeding??


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  #1  
August 8th, 2011, 07:53 AM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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anybody have suggestions on self feeding? Kaiden is 2 1/2 and HAS the skills, but REFUSES to self feed. I've seen him a whole two times actually load the spoon and attempt to put it in his mouth over the last year and a half. This is all about his refusal to do it himself.

If you even so much as try to take an arm or hand to place on the utensil (or in the food itself) he gets very, very upset, yanks his arm/hand away. He may put his hands in the food and play with it on his own, pick up individual pieces and look at them, or even pick up the spoon and wave it around, but he absolutely refuses to bring food to his mouth. He can put toys and whatever else into his mouth, certainly his hands in his mouth.

I've tried the food play thing, where you let them explore the texture all they want. I've tried encouragement and praise. I've tried letting the food sit there and walking away. I've tried the hand over hand thing, guiding him (which he HATES). I've tried the fun toddler utensils and plates. I've tried putting food directly into his hand and bringing it to his mouth, basically scraping his hand across his mouth so he could feel/taste the food in his hand. I've tried letting him go hungry for a meal.

Most of the time, if he does grab the spoon on his own, he may or may not load it, (then dumps the food off the spoon onto the floor) and touches the spoon to the side of his head (tap, tap, tap). Then drops the spoon onto the floor. He doesn't act like this is a fun thing to do, so I don't get the head tapping thing. He doesn't even look at the spoon when dropping it onto the floor, it's more of a "I've touched my head with it now, so I'm done with this". Sensory I suppose, since he used to touch his head with his toys quite a bit. Now he plays with his toys.

I've realized I always feed him with my right hand, and I think he's right handed so I thought, why not try to feed him with my left hand, maybe he'll copy me that way. maybe try doing my left hand over his right hand . . . OMG . . . full out screaming kicking tantrum simply because I changed the way I held the spoon. Now, if I held the spoon in my right hand, but angled it in such a way it was held in the same position as if I used my left hand, that was less bad. But even bring my left hand anywhere near the spoon caused lots and lots of screaming and tears.

He will, however, lean forward and bite the food off the spoon if I hold the spoon away from him and sit there and wait. But that's as far as it goes.

Because he's 2 1/2 and I'm quite used to his tantrums; have figured out what works for him for getting him to stop behavior I don't want (like biting and hair pulling) - basically telling him no and give him a cold shoulder - I picked up the plate & spoon and turned away and told him when he calmed down he could have more food. When he calmed down - it was the same thing over and over again if my left hand came anywhere near that spoon. Couldn't even have it up on the tray!

I am at my wit's end here. I'm really trying to be patient, because I know he is lacking in some fine motor skills. But this, he can do. He. just. WON'T. The OT doesn't have any other suggestions other than what I've already tried. She even tried to get him to feed himself while I was out of his sight. That, to say the least, did not go well. he allows anybody to feed him - as long as it's not HIMSELF.

Next to try, he gets to watch me eat until *I* am done eating, *then* I will feed him. his food will be within reach the whole time, but he will not be allowed to fling the plate off the tray.

*sigh*
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  #2  
August 8th, 2011, 09:25 AM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I can't get Lil Buddy to use a spoon to save my life. I've tried and tried but he will NOT put food on a spoon or fork and eat it. He also WILL NOT let me feed him with one either. So he eats only with his hands. It is a huge mess every meal, but he does feed himself. If you find new ideas, I'd love to hear them too! I'm at a loss.
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  #3  
August 8th, 2011, 10:23 AM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I have a friend with an autistic son who is maybe 8??? He is a nice kid and seems pretty high functioning But he will not eat with utensils either, hands only. So when they go out with friends, they do pizza a lot so it's less of an issue for people to watch him eat; one of our mutual friends gets totally grossed out by watching him eat (foods other than finger foods) with his hands.

Ack!! If Kaiden would even eat with his hands and not utensils, at least that would be something.
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  #4  
August 8th, 2011, 10:45 AM
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carrie was difficult to teach to self feed. She wanted to finger feed EVERYTHING and would scream with the spoon.

Every day we started to have a fun snack. I sat her down around 3 pm and gave her pudding or ice cream in a bowl. I handed her the spoon and walked away. Those are two things that she wasn't able to finger feed and because of what they are she was very driven to use the utensil to get to it.

Thats how we did it, maybe if he's motivated enough to get it on his own, he might?

We don't force or hand over hand. Both my kids hold grudges well and if I try to hand over hand or force, they'll not only scream while I do it, but scream every time they see a spoon (in this case) forever!
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  #5  
August 8th, 2011, 01:46 PM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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that's just it, finding the motivation. If only I knew what it was!! Fruits are his favorite, but I've yet to find anything he goes crazy-happy over.

He will not eat snacks between meals, never has. Always refuses food if it's not mealtime.

I love what you did for Carrie that was perfect!!! But he's a step behind that yet in that he will not finger feed either. I will use that idea when he does finger feed
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  #6  
August 8th, 2011, 07:57 PM
C&K'sMama's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Oh! I didn't realize he wasn't finger feeding. It took us FOREVER to get her off of us feeding her and to finger feeding.

You're brave, there is no way we could have gone from us fed to her using utensils, it'd have been an uphill battle (for us) all the way.

Carrie was a big fan of noodles. didn't go crazy for them or anything, but consistently something she would eat (and chopped up chicken), so I'd put it in front of her and then just refuse to feed her until after DH and I were done. it sounds mean, but she got fed, and she held out a few times, but got tired of waiting after a few meals. (I did have to hand over hand the first bite before Chris and I started eating).

Hope it gets easier!!
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  #7  
August 9th, 2011, 04:29 AM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Hmm, I need to find something he really loves that he can't finger feed. That is a great idea. I just have no idea what it might be. LOL. He doesn't like cold stuff. Maybe he'll fall in love with soup.
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  #8  
August 9th, 2011, 06:55 AM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Kaiden's the opposite, he LOVES cold stuff, hates hot food.

Alycia, that's the plan for what to try next. Yesterday I didn't get a chance to try it, he refused lunch, screamed himself into a nap, then woke up starving (of course, since he skipped lunch!!) and we had to feed him before supper was even made. So DH & I ate pretty late.

Today is a new day though, . . . and TODAY, Kaiden couldn't have cared less which hand I held the spoon with. gotta love 2 yr olds!!!
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  #9  
August 9th, 2011, 08:53 PM
Ever's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenchild View Post
Today is a new day though, . . . and TODAY, Kaiden couldn't have cared less which hand I held the spoon with. gotta love 2 yr olds!!!
LOL That's for sure!! We're seeing some typical 2 year old behaviour and although it's challenging, I love that it's typical!!

Kailyn will self feed with her hands, and she lets us feed her with utensils, but lately her thing is that she has to grab the food off the fork/spoon and smush it up in her hand. And those hands are lightning quick so there's no stopping her! Often she'll take the fork out of my hand and feed herself, and she's beginning to attempt to get food from the plate onto the utensil but that will take some practice. Mostly though, her meals are just one big mess. Her food also has to be given to her in small portions as she loves to stuff her mouth as full as can be and I'm terrified she'll choke one day.
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  #10  
August 10th, 2011, 03:48 PM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Just updating . . . I'd had it. Totally DONE. This kid WILL feed himself. I refuse to feed him like an infant anymore!! Breakfast was 1.5 hrs of screaming doing hand over hand . . . but we did it. Lunch was only 1/2 hr of screaming with hand over hand and even a teeny tiny bit of cooperation (REALLY teeny tiny!!) but, we did it. We'll see how long this takes . . . I'm not turning back now!!
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  #11  
August 11th, 2011, 06:52 AM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Kinda funny . . . I've been posting updates with pics on FB . . . you wouldn't believe the # of people who think (even after I've typed it multiple times that this is all about refusal and that he does know how) that it's that he doesn't know how. And they try to give me well-meaning suggestions for him to learn how. I appreciate that they care, but seriously, have they not read anything I wrote?Ever??
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  #12  
August 12th, 2011, 10:35 AM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am so glad you are sticking to your guns to get him to eat! How is he doing?

As for the facebook thing. I have found that a lot of folks assume since my son is special needs that he doesn't understand things he doesn't do. A lot of the times that is NOT the case and he needs to be pushed to do it. He knows HOW, but he doesn't want to. If he was a typical kid, they wouldn't have any issues at all with me pushing him to do it, but I get some horrible looks for pushing him since he is special needs. LOL. Oh well.
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  #13  
August 12th, 2011, 12:45 PM
greenchild's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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haha, oh I HEAR YOU!! you should have seen the lady's face at the store when she asked how I was getting him to self feed and I said strongarm/forcing him.

He's actually doing really well! The last few meals we had a lot of whining and mad face, but no screaming & tears. And we just finished lunch - first meal with no whining, no mad face over the spoon and I only had to prompt him to grab the spoon (I tap the back of his upper arm) maybe 25% of the time. He went for it himself most of the time! i still have to guide it into his mouth, he does need some help with aim (what kid doesn't?). And he's releasing the spoon back to the plate, rather than trying to fling it away from him.

Now we begin working on (assisting) him loading the spoon. right now, I can help him load it, but if HE loaded it, he does NOT want to bring it to his mouth, only if *I* loaded it. Sheesh. But, we're getting there.

Last edited by greenchild; August 12th, 2011 at 12:47 PM.
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