Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Regression Or Jealousy?

Remember how little man started feeding himself a couple of months ago? In case you missed those little memos, the relevant posts are here, here and here. They basically mention that he has started feeding himself, is continuing to feed himself, and again, is continuing to feed himself, all accompanied by lots of yippees and yays and happy-happiness.

Well, recently, he has decided that he wants me to feed him again :(.

I know! ... can you believe it??! Ohhh... what a let down! I'm so sad.

The thing is, he can still do it! He just doesn't want to. He wants me there. I don't know if this is a regression thing, or if he is jealous. By jealous, I mean that he sometimes does seem to be jealous of his baby sister. He sees me feeding her, but not feeding him. He cries and whines and sooks until I go there and 'help' him. And all I really need to do is put my hand over his. If I try to scoop up food, he resists where I go and leads the spoon elsewhere in the bowl. Sometimes all I need to do is scoop food on it with him, then let go so he can put it into his own mouth when he is ready. But he always wants me there and wants my hand on his.

I really believe he just wants my attention. He can still do this! But he won't anymore. To try leaving him go hungry until he feeds himself is not an option. It never is with autism in the picture, because he really will just go hungry. And yes, I have tried this approach before - back before I knew there was a problem and just thought I had a fussy kid. It doesn't work, and only leads to more whining, then a big tantrum. So frustrating :(.

I really don't want to go backwards with this, now that I know he can do it. It is good for his independence, and much easier for me given that I have an 8.5 month old baby to spoon feed too!

I have posed the issue on a forum but the answers I got were not what I wanted to hear LOL. However, it is good to know I am not alone in the situation. In a nutshell, more experienced ASD parents advised to keep feeding him anyway, as it is better to get the food into him (which I agree about) than worry about it all going backwards. And probably in time - possibly a very long time - he will eventually start feeding himself again. As I said, not what I want to hear *cry*. But I will take their advice anyway, mainly because I don't know what else to do. He needs to eat. He is already too fussy for my liking, and I don't want to make things worse.

I still cannot - for the life of me - understand why he just suddenly stopped.

Here's hoping.


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