Saturday, October 18, 2008


I have a cold. Thanks, Frank, for coughing in my face for the last two weeks.

Homecoming at our college is today, and after that, we have a birthday party for the one-year-old daughter of a friend of Darrel's from high school. We don't get to see them much- we've never even met the one-year-old, actually- so we're still going to that, but we've bagged Homecoming, because I don't think I could take that long of a day. (The friend and his wife live in south Jersey, easily a two-hour drive from here.)

So, to prepare, I've started packing the diaper bag. We have to bring food for Frank everywhere, because he has two food problems: he's highly allergic to milk and eggs, and anything with even the tracest amount of either in them, and he has sensory processing disorder (SPD). SPD basically means his senses work too well. Some kids with SPD are super sensitive to sounds, some to light, and some have problems with tags and seams in clothing. Frank has problems with anything oral. He was diagnosed at age 17 months because he was refusing to eat. Seriously. He ate like three different foods, and would refuse to eat anything else. i got all kinds of conflicting advice. "Leave him in his high chair with an unfamiliar food- when he gets hungry enough, he'll eat it." Um, no, I tried that, for well over two hours, and he didn't eat it. And he was starving, I know it. "All toddlers are picky." Yes, but one-year-olds are not. And how many babies, when they start crawling, do you know that will never ever put a single thing in their mouths, ever? Frank never ever checked anything out orally, even teething rings- he would chew on his fingers when he was teething! Frank also has had problems with tolerating anything gooey on his hands, from glue to fingerpaint to food, but that problem is MUCH much better than before- he now plays with glue in school!

We started with Occupational therapy (OT) in February, and, to be fair, Frank has made a lot of progress since then. He now eats several different things, and, as I said before, he is much better about things on his hands. We're currently working on getting him to eat vegetables, at least a few, as he currently eats none of them, except for, ocasionally, green beans.

It's very frustrating, because not a lot of kids have been diagnosed with it as yet, and even I admit it's a little weird- how can you not want to eat?? People think I'm pathologizing normal toddler behavior when i explain it to them. I really wish it were that simple. My mother says I have to learn that not everyone is educable, and that I don't have to explain the whole thing to everyone. I guess, but I figure the more people I explain it to now, the less people will think Frank is weird with food when he gets older.

In the meantime, we have to pack his food wherever we go- between the SPD and the food allergies, we assume he won't be able to eat anything anywhere we go.

I keep telling myself that in ten years, when he's going through puberty and eating us out of house and home, I'll look back on all this and laugh. So far, though, it's really not that funny.

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