So of late Bella won’t eat anything with a sauce…unless its ketchup. I on the other hand and am trying to slowly get rid of the ketchup whilst introducing new flavours. It goes up and down in its success with Bella but now I have decided to banish the junk food I have to follow it through.
Today I cooked a curry, which normally she likes but today she wouldn’t even touch it. My question that I ask every day is “is it the autism or is it her age?” Bella is approaching two and a half and it’s so difficult to know what is due to the ASD and what is just plain stubbornness. I always said I’d never be one of those parents who barter and bribe their children over the dinner table. Now however I long for the day where I can say “just a couple more spoonfuls and you can have pudding.” right now if I said that to Bella I may as well say it in Swahili as it’d make as much sense to her. Right now she doesn’t speak, doesn’t communicate so bartering and bribing are pointless. It’d be pretty much the same as trying to coerce Logan my ten month old.
At dinner time she eats what we eat, well she’s offered what we eat. If she doesn’t eat then she doesn’t eat. I feel guilty sometimes because what I offer her seems to upset her but she doesn’t know how to tell me so she screams and pushes it away. I may feel guilty but I’m not starting falling into the trap of feeding her separately as even though she doesn’t speak she’s as bright as a button and would soon be refusing everything to get what she wants.
This is the problem with being on a spectrum, everyone is different and there is no hard and fast rules to help everyone. Unfortunately there are rules for toddlers, Supernanny was always my role model but now everything seems like it relates only to a different breed of child. Naughty steps, timeouts and all the other tactics used by millions across the globe just can’t be used.
So maybe I just have to accept the fact that for now dinners will be a battle but breakfast and lunch are generally quite calm. She won’t starve and to be fair some nights she sits and eats fantastically while I pick my jaw up off the floor! One day our communication will improve and we will move forward in leaps. For now we’ll take baby steps, I’ll keep cooking and thankfully at least Logan will keep eating!