Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blog for Mental Health Challenge 2013

1.) Take the pledge by copying and pasting the following into a post featuring “Blog for Mental Health 2013″.
I pledge my commitment to the Blog For Mental Health 2013 Project.  I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others.  By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health.  I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.
2.) Link back to the person who pledged you.
You can consider this an open pledge. I first read about this at MealTime Hostage and Canvas of the Minds.
3.) Write a short biography of your mental health, and what this means to you.
I have a high-functioning autistic daughter who has always had eating issues. Before she came along, I never would have thought that the simple, basic act of eating - or in her case, not eating - would affect my mental state in any way. I have always been adventurous in eating and cooking. I have always LOVED and SAVORED my food and the enjoyment others got from sharing meals with me. To suddenly have a resistant eater who ate 3 or 4 foods from the time she was 9 months old until we finally diagnosed her at 3 1/2 drove me into depression, anger, and hopelessness many times. And when we began occupational therapy for her sensory issues, I was horrified and riddled with guilt over how many of the wrong things I did. I forced, I yelled, I was not encouraging. My blog posts are generally about strategies that work or don't, little successes...and how they make me feel. I always say that my blogging was a way to keep track of the foods my daughter has tried and has added to her menu, but the posts are almost always infiltrated by how her reaction made me feel. And over time, I have to lessen the impact of her eating on my mental health. That is my goal with this challenge. 
4.) Pledge five others, and be sure to let them know!
I don't think I actually know five bloggers, but I am pledging the ones I do know! 
As mentioned above, if you happen upon this without being pledged, feel free to take the pledge!  Promote awareness!
5.) Join the official blogroll for Blog for Mental Health 2013.
Canvas does not keep an official blogroll, outside of links to our authors’ personal blogs.  For something new and special to introduce Blog For Mental Health 2013, and really build a sense of community — and show everyone how many of us there are, and how strong we are, coming together — we are launching a Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll!  So, in addition to linking back to the person who pledged you, please include the link to this original post in your piece.  As this gets passed along, link back or click here and leave a comment containing the link to your pledge, and we will put you on our Blog For Mental Health 2013 Official Blogroll page!  Show the world our strength, show them our solidarity, show them what we are made of.  Take the Blog for Mental Health pledge and proudly display the badge on your blog!
And may we all have a happy, healthy 2013!

Chinese food and chopsticks

It has been such a long time since my last post. We have stopped the "Making E the A to Z challenge". We certainly did not get to every letter, but it was a fun way to engage her into thinking about food. E has through the course of the last year gained some curiosity into how the food we put into our body can affect our body. And she has verbalized it too. This was something she hasn't really done before. It was always the gag reflex or what I called the "look" - a squint of disgust at what was on the plate. Not that those don't show up anymore, but at least there is now an explanation  -  "Mom, I don't like cheese because it makes my stomach hurt."

We have also stopped doing the challenge because it has become easier to ask E to help me make a grocery list of what foods she wants to eat that week. Then she shops with me to make sure we will have them. My only condition is there has to be one new item per week that she will try. She always agrees to it before we buy it, but does not always try it once on her plate. Nothing new there! The positive outcome of this though is that her flexibility has improved, and her attitude toward being flexible is much better.

Case in point - we recently changed her sister's gymnastics class to a weekday. On the way home, she always asks to stop at the bagel store for pizza bagels. One day, I agreed to but it was already closed. Her sister decided we should go to Panda Express instead. E hesitated for only a minute then asked if this could be her new food to try for that week. I said, "Sure!", and off we went. She ended up asking for chow mein noodles with honey walnut shrimp and orange chicken.

Honey Walnut Shrimp & Orange Chicken
It was amazing to me that she ate all of those items, and then asked for my potsticker! She also wanted to use my chopsticks, which did not go so well. But after some researching, I found these
Combi Kid's Chopsticks
Not only are they smaller, but they also have a little grip that prevents the sticks from slipping. Eventually, you remove the grip, and there is a circle that keeps the chopsticks together at the top, then you remove that. It is like a trainer set. Both H and E love them. 

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