2011 brings us good news that makes me super excited. We are one of six families that the UT (University of Texas, Austin) Autism Project will be working with. It’s a great opportunity, and I’m optimistic that we will see some positive results at the end of this six-month endeavor.
One of the grad students will be spending several hours a week in our home, working with Connor using ABA therapy. While this really impacts our weekly schedule, it is so worth it to make the accommodations for this to happen. In fact, we’ve already seen positive results.
Drew has been to our home twice to begin working with Connor. Connor thinks he comes over just to play with him, which is just fine with me. This past weekend, after playing for a while, Connor came to ask for a snack.
“It’s almost dinnertime, if you want a snack, you can have either applesauce or yogurt,” I tell him.
“How about cottage cheese?”
“No, applesauce or yogurt.”
“Ok, yogurt. Do you want some yogurt too, Drew? Wait, we have grapes.” I was surprised he even thought to offer his “friend” a snack, let alone mention the grapes, since he has always refused to eat them.
Drew said he’d prefer grapes, so Connor brought a yogurt for himself, and the bowl of grapes. Drew started throwing grapes in the air, and catching them in his mouth.
“Ohhhh, that’s cool,” says Connor. “I want to try that.” So Connor starts throwing grapes up, and trying to catch them. It didn’t go well, but in the process he managed to gobble down about twenty grapes.
I buy grapes all the time.
I eat grapes a lot, too. But every time I’ve offered some to Connor, he says, “No, I don’t like those.”
“But you’ve never had one,” I tell him.
“Well I could have one, but I won’t like it, so I don’t want one.”
Somehow, it never occurred to me to throw them in the air to eat them.
And just like that, we added a new food to Connor’s very limited menu. Food has been a challenge since the very beginning, since we began the transition to solids from baby food. We’ve never been able to figure out if it was a texture issue, or what, exactly. We just know that expanding his menu has been a pain-staking process, and the hard-ass approach doesn’t work.
As parents, we have been creative in ways I never imagined. But I just can’t believe that it never occurred to me to throw grapes in the air.
So now I’m wondering, what kind of fun thing can I do with salad to entice him?