Last Fall, we had ended feeding sessions with a therapist who was obsessed with chocolate chips. I don't think I'll ever look at chocolate chips the same way again! So, we took a few months break trying to find another clinic with an opening. We had found one, but then got cancelled a few times. Another clinic where T was receiving speech had an opening for feeding, so we made the switch. I felt a little awkward not having given the other person a chance, but it had been so long, I just wanted to get going again.
I don't know, but I feel like feeding therapy is really personal. It involves trust and I think you need to try and build a relationship with a kiddo to have a positive outcome. We had a total of four sessions with a few Monday holiday cancellations and out of town on our part. Right after the first two sessions, T threw up in the car on the way home! He didn't eat anything unusual those days in session. I wondered if he was reacting to the session? Sort of curious and I wondered about some other things. Dumb me, I didn't sit in on the sessions as I was trying to give the therapist some space. Big mistake. I suspected that the poker chips he uses with all of his clients weren't clean or being sanitized. Maybe those were the culprit? I suggested they be cleaned or sanitized. I think they got rinsed with warm water. T told me that there was no paper towel down on the table or kitchen towel. Could have been the table too. With feeding, I never heard any mention of hand washing either.
On one occasion, I brought items for Ants on a Log, again. I brought Rasinets because T isn't eating plain raisins yet. Well, he made a food art face with apple slices and marshmallows (provided by the therapist), but I didn't see the celery or Radinets. When finished, I asked how the rest went. He told me that T wolfed down the Rasinets right away. Really, you just let him down the whole container?! Usually there are leftovers in the cooler. When we got to the car, I checked and I didn't see any celery stalks. I asked T in the car what had happened to the celery? He said the therapist ate it. Um, I get that feeding might be modeled, but all of it? I thought, wow!
On a regular speech day, there was some discussion during session. T was asked about what he packs for school lunch. T was not answering. Yeah, because he doesn't pack a school lunch. That's a reminder of all things bad that happened for him at school. He attends virtually now and he has lunch between 11-11:30 a.m. depending on our therapy schedule. T eventually shared what he packed and the therapist said to him, "Gosh, that's really unhealthy." Twice. I couldn't believe it! Yeah, no joke, that's why we have feeding therapy! Okay, let's make a child feel bad. Good way to go! Grrrr!
T can talk a lot about his school program, subjects, and teachers. At one point, a question was asked, T was attempting to change the subject, but the therapist would not allow him to move on until he answered the question. It was turning a little into a power struggle and that's when I knocked on the door to interrupt. I told therapist to ask some leading questions and gave a few hints. The therapist was so rude and said, " Well, I don't know what he does all day! He won't answer me." That was it. I closed the door. I heard him eventually sort of take my advice and T answered more school questions. However, my mind was already made up. I don't like how my son is practically shouted at during sessions. He's not hearing impaired. I always sort of laugh in my head when people feel like they need to talk louder to Special Needs kids.
Anyway, I was able to get back with the previous clinic. The one that I hadn't tried because we were cancelled a few times. I was so hot to trot that I didn't give them a chance. We met our new therapist this past week. There were no weird faces or eye rolls when I mentioned involving children's books that discuss food and she was receptive to my suggestions too. Best of all, it's going to be in-home, so we can really cook more. It's almost too good to be true. I hope it lasts! This person came recommended by two other families I see weekly who also work with her, so I'm going to be on my best behavior:)