Tuesday, March 31, 2009

He Ate Dinner!!

I made the mistake once of telling God what I could and could not handle in a child. When we began our adoption journeys 6 years ago, we (Jamie and I) both had experience with a lot of different disabilities. Me from growing up with a physically disabled sister and the exposure that brought to my family, which led to working as a respite provider for families with disabled children, and working in a variety of group home settings with adults. Jamie worked with disabled adults in a group home setting.

Our experience lead us to adopting a child with Down Syndrome, and we are now working on our fourth adoption of a child with Down Syndrome. I made it clear to the good Lord that autism was not something I could take on. He seems to be intent on proving me wrong.

We think Dante has autism. He is on a wait list to be evaluated, it will probably be at least 6 months before he gets an appointment. Dante has always had some occasionally troubling behaviors, but they have gotten worse lately. He developed a cold in early February, and had some eating troubles shortly after. We just assumed he had a sore throat, but here it is the end of March and he has regressed to baby food only. There is no medical reason, so the doctor and I think it must be sensory issues.

For a while we continued to try getting him to eat-- he used to love french fries, grapes, pasta, anything we ate he would too. Now when we try to feed him he bangs his head on the tray or back of his chair. Whenever he gets frustrated he bangs his head on the floor, or crawls to the end of the couch where he knows the stuffing is worn down and bangs there. We've taken to sitting on the floor to feed him so he won't give himself more bruises.

But tonight he ate dinner!! It was just shepherd's pie, and it took him a lot of fussing to work himself up to it, but once he got the first bite in he did not stop until it was gone. He was sitting on my lap, and I had portioned some out for him just in case, and he ate it!!

This does not mean I suddenly think he does not have autism after all, but I am so thankful for this baby step back to my happy boy.

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