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Thriving and Flying

  • Posted on March 30, 2012 at 8:00 AM

I feel kind of like a baby bird pushed out of the nest by its mother, forced to fly and fend for itself.  The analogy doesn’t quite fit—I’m not a baby and this isn’t the first time I’ve been on my own—but the feeling lingers despite the obvious discrepancies.

Last week I took Alex and Ben to the Feeding Clinic.  Brief recap:  For years these two little ones have struggled with below-the-charts growth, severely limited diets, inadequate nutrition, and the threat of “failure to thrive” diagnoses.  We took them to the Feeding Clinic to “fix” this, and apparently we’ve succeeded.

My boys are hardly weighty fellows.  They’re on the growth charts now, but the 90/10 trajectory (in Alex’s case) persists—that’s 90th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight, or tall and skinny in lay terms.  Ben isn’t quite so tall, but he’s on the skinny side.

We’ve done all we can.  They’ve maintained their own growth trajectory, we’ve succeeded in introducing needed nutritional supplements (meaning they actually consume them), and they’re all-around healthy.

All good things.

But now the visits to the Feeding Clinic are at an end.  They’re not needed any more.  The great, supportive team that has helped us so much and have supported us so well, have succeeded and are no longer needed.  And I know it’s time.  It’s just that…

I’m going to miss them.

Feeding Issues: What Do You Want to Know?

  • Posted on December 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

When Alex was first “threatened” with failure to thrive, I looked for information outside the clinical setting. At first, I didn’t find anything that could help me with Alex. Sure, there was generic information geared towards the needs of infants, but Alex was not an infant and sensory aversions weren’t even mentioned in the articles or database entries I could find. I was surprised and disappointed, to say the least.

Furthermore, my research about autism and diet or autism and feeding would often turn up results that I had no interest in. I’m referring to GF/CF diets, herbal supplements and the like, all claiming to alleviate or cure autism to one degree or another. Now, I readily admit we tried the GF/CF diet, which turned out to be a good way to starve our kids. (Not that we let it go that far.) After all, the reason that Alex was on the verge of failure to thrive was because he’s very stubborn about what he will and will not eat; and bread that is GF/CF is not, to Alex’s mind, actually food. (Honestly, I’d have to agree with him on that.)

Later, I stumbled across some information, but it was written by researchers for researchers or medical professionals, not for parents. Occasionally I’d stumble across a pertinent article, but rarely did it offer anything new or insightful.

Now, Alex and Ben are both doing well. They’re gaining weight. Both of them actually have a visible layer of fat around their muscles! As much as obesity is a problem in this country (and a personal problem, in my case), fat on my kids is good. They’ve got plenty of energy, which wasn’t really a problem for Ben, but it used to be a problem for Alex. They’re both expanding their diets and getting the nutrients they might otherwise lack through prescriptions of PediaSure. In short, they’re thriving.

It’s been a long road and now that we’ve traveled so far, I’m hoping to gather information from reputable sources and create a guide for others to use, the kind of guide I wish I’d had.

Along those lines: Do you have experiences with feeding issues? Would you like to share them? What questions would you like answered? Let me know in the comments or contact me directly.