Thursday, June 11, 2009

It's the Little Things

The first three days of this week brought about some things that, for us, for this family, were really exciting!

You know by now that things here are often measured by standards that differ from the supposed "norm" with respect to the kids and what they do or what they are learning.

Some of the things that happen here and make our socks go up and down are far from what probably excites others -unless that is, you maybe happen to have an autistic child in your home, somewhere in your family or acquaintances and then, you have a better grasp on how important some events are to us.

This week, Kurtis has done some things that really shocked us -a lot!

I know I've mentioned on various occasions that both Maya and Kurtis tend to be very picky eaters. This is often not an unusual thing for autistic children -or so it seems from other parents Mandy and I have come to know via the Autism information groups she belongs to and other bloggers who write about autism and whose blogs I read.

Both kids tend to like macaroni and cheese -for openers and after than, chicken nuggets (occasionally chicken fingers can be subbed), french fries and or burgers from Mickey D's and the like. But meats, in general, are not on these kids list of foods they will eat. Forget about serving them roast beef or pork, mashed potatoes with gravy -often a big favorite with other kids holds no warm and fuzzy spot with Maya and Kurt. Although, they will both occasionally eat plain mashed potatoes but don't even think of putting a drop of gravy on 'em or all hell will break loose at the dining room table!

Pasta, in general, is usually acceptable to Maya and certain kinds of pasta will be eaten by Kurtis but for him, it's a matter of texture and often color plays into his food likes and dislikes too. He used to like spaghetti but now, if we have spaghetti with tomato/meat sauce, it is no longer high on his list of favorites -and it appears to be the sauce he dislikes although I can make the same type of sauce and serve it on bowknot pasta or ravioli and he will usually eat it then. Yeah, a lot of "go figures" surface at most every meal here.

Well anyway, back to my actual story here -just went off the beaten path a bit to explain some of their likes/dislikes, in particular, Kurt's.

On Monday, my son stopped by and while here, he raided the refrigerator and fixed himself a big, big plate full of leftovers from our supper on Sunday -the little cookout we had, ya know. He had a burger, a hot dog, mac salad, broccoli and cauliflower salad and some pasta salad on this plate and was chowing down when Kurtis happened to see him sitting with that big plate of food and decided it was time for him to stand in front of Uncle Clate and assume a kind of "begging" position. Now my son is aware of Kurt's finicky eating habits but he asked the little guy anyway, "Kurt -you wanna bit of this?" and with that, he speared a piece of green rotini pasta from the pasta salad and waved it under Kurt's nose.

Now sometimes, Kurt likes to play little games with us too and make us think he might actually be interested in some certain foods we are having but then, once you give it to him, if he even puts it in his mouth at all, inevitably, he will just sort of roll it around a bit and then spit it out into his hand and then, put it on someone else's plate -or worse, try to put it back into the serving dish.

So I watched in amazement though as Clate offered Kurt this piece of pasta and the little guy opened his mouth, and after a second or two, actually began to chew it and then, amazingly, he swallowed it! The reason this shocked us was because the pasta salad didn't have a creamy cheesey sauce or a tomato-type sauce and it was cold with a vinegary topping on it which is a totally new taste for him to even think about trying.

So we were quite pleased with this little bit of advancement, if you will.

Then, Tuesday night, we had fried chicken for supper and no way would this child ever consider eating chicken of that type. But, later in the evening, Mandy was snacking on a drumstick and here comes Kurt, the little beggar asking for a bite, no less. So she pulled off some meat and gave it to him, fully expecting him to spit it back out but nope, he chewed it, swallowed it and the big shocker there was that he also came back not just for seconds but for fourths! Go figure!

Wednesday found me getting ready to make myself some lunch and I had a yen for a scrambled egg sandwich with a bit of cheese melted on the eggs. I got the eggs out of the fridge, had them laying on the counter as I got the little frying pan out, some margarine to grease the pan, etc., and here comes Kurt, to see what I was doing.

He spied the eggs on the counter and immediately started jabbering with the only word in a string of vocabulary I could understand being "Egg, egg, egg!" So I asked him if he'd like some scrambled egg with cheese and again, I got this long string of unintelligible words but with an occasional egg thrown in for good measure.

I made my sandwich and pulled a little of the egg mixture aside, placed it in a little bowl and sat him up to the table to see what he would do.

Keep in mind this is a child who has never accepted eating an egg before -not scrambled, not fried, not soft-boiled, not hard-boiled, not deviled! This is the "no eggs, please" child except for the one time or two that he did actually ingest a tiny bit of egg salad. Here again, enter in the "go figure" thinking.

I watched in a bit of a state of shock as he began to taste the scrambled eggs and then, he devoured what I'd given him!

Yay, Yay! Mandy wasn't at home when this happened and when she came back to the house and I told her what he'd eaten, she too was in a state of shock as well then!

Also, one other lttle thing here too is that the past two days have all been really relatively quiet, very peaceful, enjoyable to the max with Kurtis.

Why and how is that, you ask?

Because since Tuesday afternoon, Maya has been up at Mandy's girlfriend, Jen-Jen's place, vacationing I guess you could say. And Kurtis has had no big sister tormenting him on an almost constant basis because of Maya's absence.

Granted, I do miss not having Maya around -really and truly I do miss the little troublemaker that she often can be with Kurtis -but at the same time, it's been a nice break for us -with the elmination of the petty squabbles and it's also been nice and probably equally as big a relief for him not to have to endure Maya grabbing any toy he thinks he wants to play with or Maya trying to hog the limelight too. Whatever, ya know! But he has really been shining and a lot too, the past 2-3 days now!

Just wanted to share this recent change in our house and let you know we're all still thinking about how with either or both of these kids, more often than not, it's the little things others take forgranted that really do mean a lot -a whole lot -to all of us here, ya know!

No comments: