This is a picture of Maggie after we worked on self-feeding this morning. It’s hard to see in the picture, but she has oatmeal all over her pj’s, in her chair and some on the floor. I already wiped her face before thinking to take a picture. We don’t think about the amount of control and coordination it takes to grab a spoon, pick up food with it, bring it to our mouth and take a bite all while controlling and maintaining our body. However, it does take a lot of work, particularly for Maggie because the part of her brain that controls coordination has been compromised. Self-feeding is one of the many things we’re working on and believe Maggie will be able to accomplish this through the LIFE program at Health in Motion. We always say Maggie walking into Kindergarten is our ultimate goal- and it is- not simply because we want our daughter to walk but also because conquering independent walking means Maggie has complete control of her trunk and therefore all extremities- head, arms, hands, legs, feet. None of us could walk if we didn’t have enough trunk control to maintain the rest of our bodies.
Self-feeding is another task that requires trunk control but also improves it as we continue to work on it. Everything works together. Over the years we have struggled with teaching Maggie to feed herself- it seems we always took one step forward and two steps back. I have struggled with balancing time and patience (it takes a lot of time to feed her but even more to help her feed herself and of course loads of patience). I discussed this with Natan and he said she has gained enough trunk control now that it’s something we can and should work toward but we have to be consistent. Give her support where she needs it- starting at her wrist- then gradually take away. The more she does, the less we do. Natan is even working with a spoon and cup during her long session now- this will help us to achieve this goal at home as well. You see, part of the reason we’ve failed in the past is that Maggie just didn’t have enough trunk support to really complete these movements. So this is another mini-goal if you will, on our road to Maggie walking. As I mentioned in the last post, I hope this is the next big milestone we reach!!