>Sometimes it’s the simplest of things.

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Upon first glance this is only a picture of a little hand shoved deep into some beans. For Annie, this is the result of months of working to be accepting of different textures. It was in this moment today that I watched with my own eyes Annie push her hand deeper into the beans, grabbing fistfuls at a time and truly enjoying herself. I knew then that Annie is going to be just fine.

Annie has been working very hard in OT and speech therapy along with all the help we can give her at home. There was a time when a bin full of beans would send Annie into a complete panic. Today, she loved it and was totally at ease.

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Now let me back up a little bit.

Back in September I posted this. This was only the latest in Annie’s refusal to tolerate different textures on her hands and feet. Up until that point it was easier to write it off as something new that she had never experienced. It never got better. Annie started school in December and it became painfully obvious that she was absolutely distraught when it came to putting her hands or feet into the sensory table. Beans, noodles, shaving cream, she wanted no part of any of it. We’re talking screaming meltdowns at participating in even the most basic of activities.

Annie is a also poor eater. And while I appreciate when friends and family and even strangers explain to me that they also have a picky eater, I need to make it very clear that we are not dealing with picky. She isn’t picky. She has a total aversion to specific textures in her mouth. It has nothing to do with the food, or the taste, or if it’s candy, cookies, or veggies. If it is a mixed texture, chances are she’s not going to eat it. Even that criteria isn’t set in stone. She decides on a food by food and day by day basis what she is going to eat at any given time.

Going right along with her oral feeding struggle is her lack of speech. Annie says very few words for a 19 month old. She is however very vocal and she communicates very well in her own way. She just doesn’t use words. There are also some other sensory issues going on with her in regards to her digestive system that she is under a Dr’s. care for at this time.

This is obviously the simple version of Annie’s daily struggles, but you get the idea.

3 weeks ago Annie started with speech and occupational therapy. She has 2 therapists that each come to our house once a week for an hour at a time. The speech therapist is obviously working with her to promote actual speech. At the same time we are using sign for communication. Annie can sign more, please, thank you, help, dog, and sometimes cat and help. Her OT is working with her on eating and her physical aversion to specific feelings and textures. While we are making progress with her hands, the same cannot be said about her feet. Yet.

As a family we will continue to do everything we can to help Annie become comfortable in any situation.

This post has become much longer than I ever intended. However I knew that I have been a little less than forthcomming in what we have been dealing with as far as Annie is concerned. Part of that is because she is not her label. I am more than willing to answer any questions about what we are dealing with, unless your question is “Did you find out what is wrong with her yet?” (Yes, I’ve been asked that more than once.) There is nothing WRONG with her. She is my daughter and she is perfect.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. angie
    Apr 23, 2009 @ 13:40:00

    >Yay! Those beans look very inviting…I wish I could stick my hands in there too!!! :)Congrats on the progress!!!

    Reply

  2. Tanya
    Apr 23, 2009 @ 16:36:00

    >So glad you are seeing progress! Annie is very blessed to have you as her mama.I taught my kiddos some basic sign language around that age and it cut down immensely on the screaming and whining.

    Reply

  3. kadiechrome
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 00:08:00

    >She IS perfect. =) Glad you guys have seen some progress. That's awesome about the lentils…what is it about lentils that can be so soothing to children with sensory issues? It's amazing that she has come so far in just a few short weeks. Go Annie!-Katie

    Reply

  4. Ollie
    Apr 24, 2009 @ 01:35:00

    >THAT IS AWESOME!! Go Annie! I saw that picture earlier and thought, "Beans? Annie is touching BEANS?" So very cool! Congratulations to all of you!-Melissa

    Reply

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