You are what you eat

March 9, 2010 at 6:42 am 9 comments

     The world is now our oyster. Today, with one simple event, I feel as though millions of possibilities have become ours to explore. For the first time in C’s life, he went to and ate at a restaurant – from the menu. First. Time. Ever. It bears repeating.

     If you don’t know about C’s eating challenges, see here and here and here. It’s been arguably the most difficult part of his journey with autism, and the one least understood by just about everyone. It’s one of those things that doesn’t compute; how could anyone possibly have to learn how to eat, and how could anyone actually be afraid of food? It’s so far out of most people’s experiences that they can’t even comprehend it.

     Our lives literally revolve around C’s eating, or lack thereof. We are always home at mealtime, we stay in condos when we travel so we will have a kitchen, and we never run errands without carrying whatever food and drink he may need. We don’t “go to the game and grab a bite” along the way. It just doesn’t happen. C doesn’t even feel comfortable sitting with us in a restaurant while we eat, so somewhere along the way we stopped taking him, and mostly stopped going ourselves. I remember the last time I really sat in a restaurant with him – he was probably three years old (at least five years ago) and he sat across from me at Chili’s, eating his meal brought from home after a visit to the neurologist.

     For C, doing what he did today is the equivalent of bungee jumping for someone with a fear of heights, running a marathon after years of training, or doing the one thing you never thought you could do. And while my head is still spinning from the emotional high, I know that it is not so simple as to be a problem fixed. It may be months before he is ready to make a repeat performance, and not everyone will have salmon with nothing on it, white rice with nothing on it, and mandarin oranges that I could tell were the exact same brand he eats at home. And still, I know that most people won’t realize the magnitude of this event, so I’m not sharing it with the general masses. But that’s okay, it will be our little secret.

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Entry filed under: autism. Tags: , , , , , , , .

Keep it simple, stupid Thank you, Tony Attwood

9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. therocchronicles  |  March 9, 2010 at 7:11 am

    A wonderful little secret to keep all to yourselves (and us!) Hooray for a new hurdle jumped!

    Reply
  • 2. Shivon  |  March 9, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Fantastic job C!! Congrats Mom!! This is major!
    We bring PB&J EVERYWHERE we go 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. elizabeth  |  March 9, 2010 at 8:26 pm

    Awesome! I love these victories!

    Reply
  • 4. abby schrader  |  March 10, 2010 at 9:25 am

    This is WONDERFUL! And very inspiring. We’re in a similar boat to you (as you already know) and limit ourselves to the occasional family foray to neighborhood bars with outdoor seating so we can make a very rapid escape in case things spiral out of control one way or another (meltdown or upchuck are the two choices here). Strapping your kids into strollers might be acceptable at age 3, or even 4, but I suspect that we won’t be able to keep up our efforts at rapid paced outdoor dining (or beer drinking, even) once Hallie turns 5 or 6. Our only other recent attempt at eating out with Hallie involved a pizza place with her cousins and ended abruptly when she had a “mishap” with the pizza. We left a huge tip and crossed that particular place off of our dining options list…

    Reply
  • 5. jb  |  March 10, 2010 at 10:40 am

    🙂 I have a HUGE smile on my face! Great big hugs being sent your way!

    Reply
  • 6. robinaltman  |  March 12, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    Yay! That’s terrific! I never thought about what a pain that would be – to not be able to eat a meal away from home – but now I can really see how it could be crippling. You’re out at lunchtime, and no drive-thru. Vacations need a condo. I guess I’ll have to be grateful that my dimwits like to eat out, instead of grumbling that they always seem to order the most expensive thing on the menu.

    Reply
  • 7. Erica77777  |  March 14, 2010 at 1:04 am

    SO happy and proud of C. Am praying that my son follows in C’s footsteps sometime soon, because I don’t know how much longer I can take this. For me, it absolutely has been the most continuously stressful part of this whole journey. No one can understand–I mean, whoever heard of a kid who doesn’t eat bread, meat, cheese, soup, potatoes or pasta?? Arrrgh!!!

    Reply
  • 8. pixiemama  |  March 14, 2010 at 8:10 am

    Sorry I’m late to the party but

    HUZZAH!!!!

    Reply
  • 9. John & Tracy  |  March 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Congratulations mom and dad, for your patience, but especially to C for his courage. The first step is always the hardest. May your paths become easier — and cactus-free.

    Reply

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