Eliot gets fed four times a day at the Marcus Institute - three meals and one snack. The breakfast, lunch and dinner sessions last 45 minutes each, and her snack is only 30 minutes. I stay with her all day, and when she is in a feeding session, I watch her from behind one-way glass . . . think Jack Bauer in his many interrogation room scenes.
A therapist puts El in a highchair, and gives her a spoon of pureed food. If she takes the bite, then the therapist praises her; if she doesn't take the bite, then a behavioral data analyst, who is sitting with me on the "other" side, knocks on the window every twenty seconds to alert the therapist to say, "Eliot, you need to take a bite." Every. twenty. seconds. until she eats.
So . . .
This morning, El took five bites in 45 minutes. Yawwwwwnnnnn. I'll be honest, I dozed off a few times. I need some action at 8:30 in the morning. At her mid-morning snack she took an equally boring four bites. At lunch today, she took three bites, and then fell asleep with pureed chicken nuggets still in her mouth. She FELL ASLEEP in her highchair, and despite the therapist's attempt to wake her by putting cold compresses on her forehead, and standing her up to walk around the room, she could not get Eliot out of her slumber.
But, boy did that nap do wonders for the next session.
At her final session today, Eliot took twenty bites in 45 minutes. Now, that's not just twenty bites. That is TWENTY bites, and TWENTY swallows. Baby girl is SWALLOWING! She is clearly not enjoying herself quite yet, but wow, there was some definite progress today.