Adoption related-Still food obsessed - Page 11 - Mothering Forums

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#301 of 343 Old 05-08-2011, 04:50 PM
 
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I believe wholeheartedly that she can learn self-regulation.   But getting her there is difficult.  I have found a doctor that specializes in Ellyn Satter's feeding methods, and she will counsel me through the therapy.  But it is difficult, expensive, and very time-consuming.  For the sake of my other kids, I need to wait until school is over for the year so I can plan on spending every waking minute in the kitchen for a while.  I am prepared to do that, but I DO need help and counseling in order to figure out the little details, and to emotionally support me. 


grouphug.gif I don't normally post here, but I have to say that you're amazing. I'm really glad that you can get the counseling in order to help you both through this, and I really hope that it works. It is sad that she's sooo food obsessed she won't play or do other things. I hope for her sake, and yours, that things look up soon.


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#302 of 343 Old 05-08-2011, 10:05 PM
 
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I'm a forum crasher but I have followed this thread and read all the posts.

 

I was just thinking, and this could be a really stupid idea, but if you feel like she's craving something, but just doesn't know what it is, could it be water? I'm sure that you give her water to drink, but I thought I'd throw the idea out there because I know that when I'm craving something and I just don't know what it is, I will often feel like I need some protein but can never seem to get enough, my body is actually craving water. It took me a looooong time to realise this. It often happened at the end of the day. Is there any way that you can encourage her to drink more water? Even if it's got a little juice in it?

 

Anyway, I hope that I haven't stated something stupid or insanely obvious.

 

You are doing an amazing job! I hope that you get to see more of that sweet little girl inside soon!


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#303 of 343 Old 05-09-2011, 02:53 PM
 
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Just a thought, to expand on a PP suggestion that she 'work' a little more for her food. My lil guy is 30 months old and LOVES to help me in the kitchen 'cooking'.  I will let him stir things that aren't too hot, or 'help' me pour in ingredients. I make sure to hold the handle of the pot, so it doesn't move, while he's stirring. Or maybe mixing things, like dumping in the measured ingredients and stiring batter, or scrambling eggs. (He loves to try, eventually though, mommy needs a turn to make sure it is really mixed or scrambled, kwim?) And yes, we have had spills/splashes and I give him his own wet washcloth to 'help' me clean up after ourselves. And sometimes I give him a plastic knife so he can cut soft things into smaller bites (like cheese, cooked green bean, pears, etc) It is messy, but it give him an opportunity for a little independance.

 

So, an idea for you to try: make some homemade trail mix to start out (No liquid ingredients involved!) If she engages well with the bigger kids, maybe everyone can 'help' her, or maybe even make their own mix too. Hopefully  it can be an activity not only about food, but 'play' and  'learning' too. Put each item in its own dish with its own scoop/spoon. Maybe 'coun't how many scoops/bowls you use and ingredients you have to choose from. Use smaller scoops/spoons so the fine motor action of scooping it into the final dish/bag is repeated a lot. One of the goals, in my mind, should be the delayed gratification that this process entails. So, a 'rule of the game' should be she can't eat the individual things out of the dishes used for ingredients, she has to make her mix first, THEN she can eat it our of the bag or whatever. (and she may make a teeny tiny mix so she can eat it as soon as possible, or who knows, she may spend a lot of time making a huge mix to have on hand)

 

 

ingredient ideas: GFCF cereal, dried berries and rasins, or dried fruit bits, freeze dried fruit or veggie bits (like gerber brand or 'Just Tomatoes' brand), appropriate nuts and seeds, cut up bits of fruit leather, large chunk/shave coconut, 'Mary's Gone Crackers' crackers or twigs, Kinni Kritters, EnerG or Glutino pretzles, Pic-nic machstick potato 'strings', fruit snacks/gummie bears, GFCF chocolate chips, etc.

 

 It was a hit with a group of kindergarteners, that is where I got the idea, and I don't see why it couldn't be adapted to be on a toddler/preschool level.

 

It seems like a lot of things, but if this activity is at all successful, she will be practicing fine motor skills, social skills/sharing if the other kids are in on it, maybe counting/quantity, maybe patience/delayed gratification/reward for her 'work', that kind of stuff.

 

OT: And you are right to be concerned about the lack of interest in play. I'm sure play and intellectual stimulation was not high on the list at the orphanage. Maybe it is that she wasn't exposed to the concept of play, or even had objects to stimulate 'play' as a baby or at that young age. Trust your intuition that it is something you should also pursue.

 

 

 

 

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#304 of 343 Old 05-10-2011, 08:43 AM
 
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I've been a foster parent for five years, have worked with at-risk children and families for almost 20 years, and have many foster and foster/adoptive parent friends. This food obsession is VERY common. I've read every one of the OPs posts on the subject and know she is doing her best to help her daughter. She has not stopped trying. She has gone to doctors (those who specialize in adoption-related issues and those who don't.) She has taken the advice of many posters in this, and her other, threads. Comparing this toddler to other toddlers really isn't helpful because they aren't the same. This isn't a little girl who just needs to learn to self-regulate. She likely has very complex psychological wounds that need to be healed.


In your experience, is it common for the obsession to be so strong that they don't play AT ALL? That's what I'm hearing described here, and I wonder if Early Intervention wouldn't be a good idea.

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#305 of 343 Old 05-10-2011, 09:13 AM
 
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In your experience, is it common for the obsession to be so strong that they don't play AT ALL? That's what I'm hearing described here, and I wonder if Early Intervention wouldn't be a good idea.

I know this was directed at polliwog and I'm curious what she has to say, but I just wanted to say as someone who has worked in EI as well as adoption, that EI is going to be so far out of their league on this that I can see no point.  I can see them causing way more harm than good.  The only thing I would ever consider them for in this case would be OT to explore a sensory component, but even then, many EI OT's are not very well versed in sensory integration.  The problem with EI too is that they don't always know when they should tell you that they are out of their league.  They want to help so the sometimes offer ideas and solutions that are counterproductive.   Good thought though.

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#306 of 343 Old 05-11-2011, 06:25 AM
 
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Agreeing re: EI.  This seems too complex.  Forgive me if this has been gone over (I've lost track of some of the thread), but has there been a consult with a developmental ped or psych/behavioral specialist?  The behaviors feel compulsive, the OP's baby seems very unhappy,  and unfulfilled, and a major red flag goes up regarding the lack of interest/ability to play-or the behaviors interfering with the ability to participate in age appropriate tasks.  

 

There is a part that feels perhaps neurological in this very complex scenario, in the same way that some issues need to be dealt with at a brain chemistry level before the behaviors can actually be addressed.

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#307 of 343 Old 05-11-2011, 06:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

I've been a foster parent for five years, have worked with at-risk children and families for almost 20 years, and have many foster and foster/adoptive parent friends. This food obsession is VERY common. I've read every one of the OPs posts on the subject and know she is doing her best to help her daughter. She has not stopped trying. She has gone to doctors (those who specialize in adoption-related issues and those who don't.) She has taken the advice of many posters in this, and her other, threads. Comparing this toddler to other toddlers really isn't helpful because they aren't the same. This isn't a little girl who just needs to learn to self-regulate. She likely has very complex psychological wounds that need to be healed.


In your experience, is it common for the obsession to be so strong that they don't play AT ALL? That's what I'm hearing described here, and I wonder if Early Intervention wouldn't be a good idea.

Yes. My fs sat at the kitchen table for two days straight to protect his stash. After that, and after speaking with the workers, I stopped the "this is your stash no one will touch it", and iirc, we went back to family food, help yourself as needed. Now, he was older, less traumatized/abused than the OPs dd, and still had family contact, so it would have been a shorter recovery period.
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#308 of 343 Old 05-11-2011, 01:50 PM
 
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Well, we did the full 3 years of EI with dd1, and there are certainly some therapists who are less helpful than others, I agree, and I didn't hesitate to stop or change a service when it was clear that it wasn't working.  Everything with EI seems to be "where you are and who you get", a matter of luck, essentially.  There's always private OT, too, just the $$ is often prohibitive. 

 

I really hope long term free range access to high calorie food finally helps. 


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#309 of 343 Old 05-11-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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To answer your question, Early Intervention is a wonderful program but most of the time they aren't set up to deal with things that are way out of the norm.In THIS situation, I would be hesitant to introduce any therapy/program that didn't have a psychologist's (specialized in adoption or major trauma-related issues) ok.  I would let a child psychologist drive the bus in this situation.
 

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I've been a foster parent for five years, have worked with at-risk children and families for almost 20 years, and have many foster and foster/adoptive parent friends. This food obsession is VERY common. I've read every one of the OPs posts on the subject and know she is doing her best to help her daughter. She has not stopped trying. She has gone to doctors (those who specialize in adoption-related issues and those who don't.) She has taken the advice of many posters in this, and her other, threads. Comparing this toddler to other toddlers really isn't helpful because they aren't the same. This isn't a little girl who just needs to learn to self-regulate. She likely has very complex psychological wounds that need to be healed.




In your experience, is it common for the obsession to be so strong that they don't play AT ALL? That's what I'm hearing described here, and I wonder if Early Intervention wouldn't be a good idea.


 

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#310 of 343 Old 05-11-2011, 06:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Polliwog View Post

To answer your question, Early Intervention is a wonderful program but most of the time they aren't set up to deal with things that are way out of the norm.In THIS situation, I would be hesitant to introduce any therapy/program that didn't have a psychologist's (specialized in adoption or major trauma-related issues) ok.  I would let a child psychologist drive the bus in this situation.
 



 



Totally agree. Even a typical psychologist is going to be at a serious loss, much less an EI therapist whose background is not in mental health in any way.  Their backgrounds are OT, PT, speech, feeding, social work, and education.  EI doesn't pay well either so someone experienced in these complex issues won't be working there most likely anyhow. 

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#311 of 343 Old 05-12-2011, 09:11 AM
 
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Hugs to you again.  Do you still have her off of gluten completely?  One tiny exposure can cause the symptoms to all come back and she has to be completely clear of gluten for 3-6 weeks to see the complete difference.  I know you have tried so hard, but that belly still looks like a gluten problem to me. 

 

Also - How did the egg experiment go?  I agree that it is worth a shot to see if she could get her fill that way.  I also like the suggestion that someone else had about getting some of those oral sensory toys.  Maybe she's not hungry.  Maybe she just needs something in her mouth all the time.

 

Hugs again.  I know how hard this has been for you. 


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#312 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 06:20 AM
 
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I wish I had a useful suggestion, but I don't. I just want to say that I have been following this thread from the beginning, and you are an amazing mom. 

 

Well, I guess I do have one suggestion, which you are probably already doing anyway. If it isn't too expensive for you, maybe buy already cut up vegetables so you don't have to prep so much since she eats so much? Like instead of steaming carrot sticks, just steam whole bags of baby carrots, buy cut up broccoli and just throw that into a pot, etc. Also, have you considered trying something like Beano when she eats chickpeas? Might help with the bloat, if it's something children can take anyway.

 

 

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#313 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hugs to you again.  Do you still have her off of gluten completely?  One tiny exposure can cause the symptoms to all come back and she has to be completely clear of gluten for 3-6 weeks to see the complete difference.  I know you have tried so hard, but that belly still looks like a gluten problem to me. 

 


  We seemed to be doing better with the distended abdomen, but one day when I went out at dinner time, my husband accidentally gave her meatballs from the wrong pot (I had made gluten free/dairy free ones, as my reg. ones have bread crumbs and milk in them).  The bloated belly was back with a vengeance.  But then I start to doubt myself that I'm just imagining that it was getting better.  I have been trying to keep a detailed journal, but I'm not as religious about it some days.   That was almost 3 weeks ago, and the bloated belly is as bad as it was before we stopped gluten/casein.  I don't know if that small of an amount can cause this or not.

 

So I did this experiment, and this is what has been happening:

 

  Day #1  Put out a bowl of hard boiled eggs (8), a pile of gluten free rice thins, a jar of almond butter, plate of strawberries and cut up star fruit.    She ate from 9:00 in the morning until almost 11:00.  She never stopped, or even slowed down.  She kept asking for "more'.  I ran out of eggs, fruit, and rice thins.  She still wanted more, but quite frankly, I have 3 other kids and I can't spend all day in the kitchen.  I had no more to give her.   She got out of the high chair ok, but again I was stopping her, she didn't stop herself.  I just had no more time, and it was almost lunch time.  At lunch, I gave her a set amount and she was okay with that because we go directly to nap after lunch.  

At dinner, she again would not stop, but at some point, the food is all gone, and it is time for bed.    I know the Ellyn Satter method is to let the child control the portions, but this is ridiculous.  What if you have a child that literally will NEVER stop?  What do you do then????  And all I keep hearing in my head are the voices of people telling me to "just let her eat".  Would everyone let their child continue to eat if they ate to the point of throwing up?  To the point that your refrigerator and pantry were empty?  To the point that there were no eggs left for your other children to eat?  To the point that you could do nothing for weeks/months on end but stay home and watch one child eat?  To the point that you knew your child was going to suffer the emotional/physical consequences of being obese because they don't stop eating?

 

  Today is day 4, and not that I expected any improvement, but after 2 hours of eating, I had to put a stop to it again because I have other things to do besides just stand there cutting up hard boiled eggs in the kitchen.  My other children need to go to their library program, I need to go to the grocery store, etc.    She ate 6 eggs today (all I had made because I ran out), 6 pieces of thins  with almond butter, a whole (large) apple, and an entire can of olives before I stopped her.  When she got out of the high chair, she could barely walk because she looked about twice as distended as she does in the picture I posted here.  It is not just a "pot belly".    

 

   I'm distraught to find out that even when she has a ridiculous amount of food, she will not stop.  EVER.  It is quite clear that she is not just "hungry",  "going through a growth spurt", or needing a little extra protein.   She has NO self-regulation.

 

    I have figured that if I feed her as much as she wanted, for one month, it would cost me nearly $1000, much more than I currently spend on our entire family for the month.  $6 loaf of gluten free bread/day alone is $180 for the month.  A dozen eggs a day, 2 cans of garbanzo beans, 2 cans olives, 5 apples, a jar of almond butter (very expensive), it is just ridiculous.  My ten year old, VERY active son eats less than she does.  

 

 I have signed up for the webinar with Katja Rowell, who counsels the Ellyn Satter method.  But I just don't know how much more I can afford to do.  Hiring Ms. Rowell will cost me about $1000 for the first month.  Food will cost me another $1000.    What about my other kids??  I have already sacrificed so much of their lives to give to her in the hopes it would someday be enough.   We have foregone a vacation because of the expenses, we don't go out to eat anymore, or go anywhere there will be a "spread" of food,  there are no more fun things we can do as a family except the park because there isn't any food there.     I'm tired of sacrificing their childhoods for a child that just "never has enough".  From day one, I always said that no matter how much food I gave her, it would never be enough for her.     And I think I finally have confirmation of that.  If I let her eat from morning til night, she would probably still be asking for more.  

 

  There are no vegetables that she will eat, and I was trying to "fill her up" with high protein foods.  No matter what I have tried, there is a roadblock and a dead end.  I wish I knew why I was being tortured this way.  Because it absolutely feels like torture.  To be peeling your 8th hard boiled egg for a child that looks like she is about to explode, and hear her ask for more when she is done, is torture.  Knowing that no matter what you do you can't be done, and she won't be satisfied.  That I will never have peace.  

 

 I'm just so tired of it all.  I have no more patience, time, energy, money, to fight this fight.  I need to go have a good cry now.  Instead of playing with my other kids, I spend her nap time crying in the laundry room while they think I'm doing laundry.      I just wish that for once in my life something would be easy.   Everything has been a challenge for me, since I was a kid.  Everything.  Nothing has been easy.  Nothing has been joyful, nothing has been a pleasure.   But I kept fighting, trying to get where other people are, and living the way they live.  But I'm tired.  I wish prayer actually worked, because I need a break here.  I really do.

 

 

  Anna

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#314 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 12:22 PM
 
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Anna,

You do need a break and a hug.  There are a lot of issues, you feel tugged in a lot of directions, and it's getting muddied up into one big problem instead of the many smaller, more manageable problems that it could be. 

 

Find someone to give you time off.  Hire someone.  You are worth it and you will be more able to handle everything if you take a little time.

 

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#315 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 12:31 PM
 
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Yes, take a break and let someone else feed her - someone who doesn't feel the need to be involved in every bite she eats, someone who doesn't micromanage every meal due to her own food issues, someone who can put out a tray of food that doesn't require constant preparation and can walk away without flipping out.  Someone who doesn't panic over the thought of "what ifs" that have not happened.

 

Rome wasn't built in a day, and food issues that developed over more than a year of underfeeding aren't going to resolve in 4 days.

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#316 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, take a break and let someone else feed her - someone who doesn't feel the need to be involved in every bite she eats, someone who doesn't micromanage every meal due to her own food issues, someone who can put out a tray of food that doesn't require constant preparation and can walk away without flipping out.  Someone who doesn't panic over the thought of "what ifs" that have not happened.

 

Rome wasn't built in a day, and food issues that developed over more than a year of underfeeding aren't going to resolve in 4 days.


Do you mean the trays that I prepare and leave out, only to have them emptied every ten minutes?    Do you mean flipping out by calmly refilling the plate?  Do you mean underfeeding her to the extent that allowed her to gain 10 pounds in the last year?  Do you mean being involved in every bit she eats by continuing to clean the kitchen, return phone calls, feeding my other kids breakfast and cleaning it up, vacuuming while she is eating her breakfast, doing laundry while she is eating, etc.???  

 

 Do you mean you wouldn't have a problem with you 2 year old eating for 10 hours a day, non stop?  You wouldn't think that was a problem??   

 

 Thanks anyway,

 

 

  Anna

 

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#317 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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I know it's hard, but I think it would be beneficial to have someone else take over feeding her for the simple fact that you are exhausted by it at this time.  I also think therapy would be good for you and your daughter to work through the big changes that have happened in your lives.

 

If a child is terrified they'll never get food again, they will eat non-stop.  It's self-preservation.  Eggs are a great thing for her and thankfully they're fairly cheap.  Buy a bunch, hard boil them and then peel them so you can just hand them to her without having to sit there.  At 2, you don't need to be slicing them up. Can I ask why you don't give her peanut butter vs. almond butter?  It's much cheaper and that'll save you some money while your daughter gets through this.


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#318 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 01:32 PM
 
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I know it's hard, but I think it would be beneficial to have someone else take over feeding her for the simple fact that you are exhausted by it at this time.  I also think therapy would be good for you and your daughter to work through the big changes that have happened in your lives.

 

If a child is terrified they'll never get food again, they will eat non-stop.  It's self-preservation.  Eggs are a great thing for her and thankfully they're fairly cheap.  Buy a bunch, hard boil them and then peel them so you can just hand them to her without having to sit there.  At 2, you don't need to be slicing them up. Can I ask why you don't give her peanut butter vs. almond butter?  It's much cheaper and that'll save you some money while your daughter gets through this.

 

I think this is right on. It sounds like during the week you are home alone with her, but is your husband/partner around on weekends? Could he take over the bulk of her feeding and care on the days he's home so at least so you can get a break?

 

Also,  you did respond to my question abuot depression and I think it's great that you recognize that you are struggling with that. I really strongly encourage you to do everything possible to get yourself well, up to an including medication and counseling if needed. I think the lens that you are viewing your daughter and her issues through is distorted by the depression and your own food issues and it's clouding your ability to see her for who she really is and to see her issues for what they really are. I don't doubt that she has this issue and that anyone would be struggling at this point,  I just think that your own issues are making it particularly hard for you to cope with it. You are trying very hard and it is very obvious that you want the situation to improve. I think that is to be commended. But I think you need help to adjust to the huge changes in your life if you are going to adequately help your daughter cope with her struggles. I would also not underestimate a young child's ability to sense your stress and distress around the food issue. If she is already struggling with feeling secure and attached that is only going to make it worse.

 

And I know you have mentioned some of the help you've sought for your daughter scattered throughout the thread, but it might be helpful to put in one post what types of doctors and therapists you've seen. Then someone might have a suggestion for you. Have you seen a developmental pediatrician for example? Has she been seen by any adoption clinics?

 

I wish you and your daughter the best.
 

 

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#319 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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It's still not clear to me what kind of medical attention this child has been getting, aside from going to a naturopath and some bloodwork early on (forgive me if I'm not remembering correctly). Has she been seen recently by an actual pediatrician?
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#320 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Ouch. That's really harsh. This is the child's mother. One who is terrified for her child and for her family. I do think that sending the child to preschool might be a good option, if at all possible.

 

You still don't know if your daughter has a cutoff. She hasn't gotten there, yet. I can't remember what the adoption specialist(s) suggested. I probably still with people who specialize in adoption and trauma, not a feeding specialist from afar. I think that it would be much more beneficial to have someone come in your home and watch what's actually going on. Not interacting with a "stranger" through the internet.

 

I wish I lived closer so I could give you a break. (((HUGS.)))

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Originally Posted by lasciate View Post

Yes, take a break and let someone else feed her - someone who doesn't feel the need to be involved in every bite she eats, someone who doesn't micromanage every meal due to her own food issues, someone who can put out a tray of food that doesn't require constant preparation and can walk away without flipping out.  Someone who doesn't panic over the thought of "what ifs" that have not happened.

 

Rome wasn't built in a day, and food issues that developed over more than a year of underfeeding aren't going to resolve in 4 days.



 

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#321 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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So make and peel eggs by the dozen.  Put out a few peeled and see if she wants them.  You are so worried and fretting about every morsel in her mouth, and since you've been restricting her food for so long, you KNOW she is picking up on all that tension that you have about it.  She might overeat for a while.  SO WHAT?   She might get a tummy ache.  She might even throw up.  It's not the end of the world.  You've been giving her more food for four whole days.  That's not long enough to draw any conclusions.   Prep the food in the morning so that you don't have to do prep work all day long, and when she asks for more have stuff ready to grab for her.  Cheese sticks and peeled hard boiled eggs should only take you a second to grab.  I'd drop the rice thins altogether, what is the purpose?  Put nut butter on apple slices if you want to.  
 
It's been four days.  It has not been long enough for you to say that she will literally NEVER STOP.  
 
And what if she does get fat?  As long as she is healthy and happy who the heck cares what her body type is?  
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#322 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 04:10 PM
 
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Anna, would you be able to go to a food bank? I know Angel Food Ministries is a cheap food source too. Please don't listen to the people who obviously haven't really read the entire thread. You are awesome.

 

EDIT: It's been four days since she started watching her gluten more closely again, not four days since she's been letting her eat as much as she wants. 

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#323 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by AirMiami View Post

Anna, would you be able to go to a food bank? I know Angel Food Ministries is a cheap food source too. Please don't listen to the people who obviously haven't really read the entire thread. You are awesome.

 

EDIT: It's been four days since she started watching her gluten more closely again, not four days since she's been letting her eat as much as she wants. 

 

Day 5 was on 4/27/11, so this must be day 21; a significant difference.
 

 


 
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#324 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 05:14 PM
 
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I wish I could send you some eggs. My 5 hens have been laying like crazy with the spring!


 
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#325 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, she had gluten/milk on 4/23 or so (can't remember the day exactly, but I think it was the day before Easter.    She hasn't had any gluten since then.  It was only the 2 meatballs.  When I said day 4, I meant 4 days of letting her eat as much as she wanted.   That's why I can't understand the return of the extreme abdominal distension.  It has been a while since the gluten/dairy, and I thought taking those out of her diet is what caused her distension to start going away.  

 

Anna

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#326 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 06:03 PM
 
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I think this is right on. It sounds like during the week you are home alone with her, but is your husband/partner around on weekends? Could he take over the bulk of her feeding and care on the days he's home so at least so you can get a break?

 

Also,  you did respond to my question abuot depression and I think it's great that you recognize that you are struggling with that. I really strongly encourage you to do everything possible to get yourself well, up to an including medication and counseling if needed. I think the lens that you are viewing your daughter and her issues through is distorted by the depression and your own food issues and it's clouding your ability to see her for who she really is and to see her issues for what they really are. I don't doubt that she has this issue and that anyone would be struggling at this point,  I just think that your own issues are making it particularly hard for you to cope with it. You are trying very hard and it is very obvious that you want the situation to improve. I think that is to be commended. But I think you need help to adjust to the huge changes in your life if you are going to adequately help your daughter cope with her struggles. I would also not underestimate a young child's ability to sense your stress and distress around the food issue. If she is already struggling with feeling secure and attached that is only going to make it worse.

 

And I know you have mentioned some of the help you've sought for your daughter scattered throughout the thread, but it might be helpful to put in one post what types of doctors and therapists you've seen. Then someone might have a suggestion for you. Have you seen a developmental pediatrician for example? Has she been seen by any adoption clinics?

 

I wish you and your daughter the best.
 

 


i too can feel the stress and emotion in your posts. i know i picked up a lot of bad food habits from my mom. seeing her going without eating all day and talking down about everything she cooked were some of the big ones. i really have to force myself out of that mentality since having my own kids- i really don't want them to have issues with food. i wish one or two of us was close enough to you to give you a break hug.gif

 


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#327 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 06:41 PM
 
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I know you put out food for her to graze on but I was reading back on one of your posts and you commented on how every time she would come back asking for more food because she ran out, it would feel like a failure, you didn't give her enough.  I wonder if maybe it is the same for her?  if maybe she needs some time where she doesn't even need to keep going back to you asking for more food?  I don't know how possible it would even be for you so ignore me if you've done this or it just simply isn't something you can do but I wonder how she would react if in the morning immediately after breakfast, you put out EVERYTHING she normally eats in a day before she even has a chance to ask, the dozen+ eggs, pints of berries, all the hummus the ENTIRE box of cereal in a big bowl.. ALL of it and see how she reacts to having such a giant spread?  I wonder if maybe her fear of running out of food would be resolved if she literally DOESN'T run out of food and only has to stop eating it all because its time for a regular meal so she has to go back to all the snack food later.

 

I have no idea how feasible that would even be or if it could even help but the emotion you put through in that post talking about how it felt like a failure, not giving her enough because she'd keep coming back for more and more struck me.  I don't know how fast she eats so for all I know, doing that just means she ends up doubling her intake because she finishes it all before lunch but it popped into my head.

 

I can't even begin to imagine what it would be like to deal with something like this and I can tell how much you love her and how much you are trying to do everything in your power to help her reach a point where she can have a happy and fulfilling life.  I think you are amazing for clearly putting your all into this, and for so long.

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#328 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 06:43 PM
 
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In the 4 days that you allowed her to eat as much as she wanted during the day did she eat so much that she threw up? If so, did she empty her stomach or just throw up a little? Personally, I would let her eat until she made herself sick if that's what she wanted to do so she could learn what hungry, full and too full feels like through experience. I only say that because my baby overate breastmilk until she vomited all the time as a newborn and her doctor said it was ok since it was just a few times a week, not after each meal. She grew out of it and now knows to stop eating when she is full. I know it's a different situation but I think if it's ok for a baby to vomit a few times a week it's probably ok for a 2 year old to vomit occasionally too.

 

However, since your daughter is two and nutrition in the early years is so important I would be hesitant to make too many guesses like this about what is the best course of action, particularly since you can't get a do-over if you mess up somehow. There must be someone you can contact with experience who can answer specific questions like: is there such a thing as eating too much or will she just throw up if she eats too much, how often would she need to throw up for it to be something you should worry about, how many weeks or months should you expect it to take before she gradually learns to self-regulate? I assume it would take several months of gradual learning before she really knows when to stop and that any extra weight gain during that time would work itself out later when is older and more active, but I think there must be someone out there who actually knows the answers and isn't guessing. If you would like to find an expert like this but don't know where to look and don't have the time to look into it right now (it sounds like you are already overwhelmed as it is), perhaps I or others in this thread could help look for you. Just a suggestion.

 

I do worry that if you give her free access to food and then take it away you could reinforce her thinking that she should eat as much as she can while she has the chance, rather than learning food will always be there and to just eat when she is hungry.

 

 

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#329 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 06:47 PM
 
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A social worker told me once that however long the trauma was before adoption, is how long it takes to "recover" after. And this being a food issue, your dd is 28 months right? Less the 4 days you've been giving her everything? I don't want to scare you, but it could, conceivably take a year or more for her to normalize her behaviour. Or longer if not given the chance.
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#330 of 343 Old 05-13-2011, 08:16 PM
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First, I think your doing a great job and I can't imagine how stressful this would be. Do you have a back yard? Have you tried spending the day mostly outside, watering plants, digging in the dirt, blowing bubbles and stuff? What about growing some tomatoes or other fruit in a pot? My DD had 2 tomato plants last year. She planted them, watered and picked them and they were her's to eat too. Maybe having her own plants might make food seem less scarce for your DD. It's spring now, maybe being outside could be more distracting now. If you're still offering gluten free Cheerios, maybe having her own box where she can reach it could help. It's hard to do that with most of the foods she's eating. I also sliced eggs for my DD when she was your DD's age.

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