My Son and Racism

Today is the 50th anniversary of the great Rev. Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream.” speech.

It’s a work of eloquence and art. It’s something I admire and something that lifts me up when I read or hear it.

I didn’t want to write about this – because while it has a special place in my heart, and it has a special place in history, I simply don’t feel worthy of writing down my thoughts about such an amazing man and his words – all of them.

However, I really feel the need to share this story.

Coincidentally, my son and I started reading the next book in our Magic Treehouse Book series this week. It was about the Civil War. In this series a young brother and sister go back in time. It’s an imaginative way to learn about bits of history and to learn about other people and cultures.

Last night the part we were reading talked about a tent hospital on the edge of the battlefield. The children decide to help the nurses and one nurse sends them around to the tents with food and water to serve the wounded Union soldiers. In the first tent it talks about what the men looked like and what the children see. In the second tent it says “everything was exactly the same, except all of the soldiers were African-American.” The boy goes on to talk to one of these soldiers a little about the war and he learns what the war “was about” and what slavery was.

My son stopped me at this point and asked about slavery and war and a few other hot topics. And then he says “what is African-American?” Now my son has several black classmates and we know two families we have gotten together with regularly who are mixed race families. I said “you know, people who have darker skin like “Jacob.” He and his brother and dad are Black Americans” – not wanting to confuse him by saying African-Americans again, since he knows quite a bit about Africa and knows it’s on the other side of the earth.

He stopped and looked at me, shocked, and said “You mean “Jacob” is a black american??? Why didn’t he tell me?”

He had never seen a difference between himself and his classmates.

I didn’t want him to think about it. I wanted to keep him innocent to these things. We talked a little about how we are all really the same and we talked a little about slavery and the horrible way people have been treated in history. He told me “Mom, you know the only thing that matters is what you are like in here, right?” and he pointed to his chest and I praised him. I said “yes. Yes it is. It is the only thing that is important.” And I loved that.

I stopped. I wanted with all my heart to let it go – to let him keep not seeing the colors and races and creeds and gender and “differences” of people. I wanted to let him be, for as long as he could be, blind to these things. And I admit I did. I stopped and I let it go.

Tonight we read the next chapter. It talked about young boys in the war and the conditions on the battle field and how they didn’t have enough water and food. It talks about a young drummer boy.

My son brought up the slaves and the “black americans” again. I had thought about it all day. And I came to the conclusion that I am not helping him or anyone else if I allow him to continue not seeing how other people are treated.

It’s a lovely thing – a child’s innocence. A lovely precious thing.

However, it’s also a privilege in this case. It’s a privilege my son can afford and other children can’t. It’s an innocence children of color have to give up much much younger far too often.

The moment I realized that was the moment that I realized his privilege serves no one if he doesn’t learn how to use it to help others. So we talked. We talked about how people of color and different religions and women have been treated historically and we talked about how they are treated now. We talked in broad, general strokes, but we talked about how lucky we are to have what we have.

While I hope that one day there will be no reason for mothers to talk to their sons about the privileges they enjoy, that day is not today. I hope one day that little boys like mine have no more privilege than the next little girl or boy. I hope that one day when a child asks what a racial term means, mothers everywhere can say “Oh, that’s an old saying that we don’t use today” because we will be all one global family – no differences in how we are treated and how others are treated. But that day is not today. I hope that one day children will be taught about all of the wonderful civil rights people enjoy. Not just white people or black people or men or women or Americans or Europeans or heterosexual people or Christians – everyone across the world. I hope that they will learn of the fights we fought and the pain people went through. I hope it is but a distant gleaming memory of a time when humans overcame all of our prejudices and all of our fear and hatred and pulled ourselves out of darkness. I hope it is a mark in history when war and inequality ended. I hope it is celebrated near and far.

But tonight, tonight I talked to my son about how people are sometimes treated, and how wrong that is, and how he can help. How speaking up is one of the most important things he can do. We talked about how the voice our culture has given him is one of the most important tools he has and that when he sees inequity, he needs to speak out against it.

Tonight my son went to bed a little less innocent. Maybe, just maybe, he will be better for it.


Morning OT Routine

I have decided to share more of our experiences in OT and other areas of our sensory processing journey. When I go online to find information I can find a LOT out there, but it’s mostly all from moms like me who want to share what they have learned. 

I want to be careful about how I share the info I receive as well. I am not an OT (though we have a terrific one) and all kids will need slightly different sensory input depending on their individual needs. For example, my son does NOT need help getting “woken up” for school, but there are some people who need more “alerting” input. Some children may be very quiet and shy and even tired most of the day. For the most part my son is the opposite. He needs “calming” strategies more often so he can sit and attend to his work. What works for one child may not work for another. In preschool I was given a list of things to try for my son’s sensory diet at home, but was given no real instructions as to what he might need before school or before bed. The OT there also seemed to use more alerting strategies for him instead of calming strategies. I think it made his time in preschool worse. To be fair, her main focus was on fine motor skills and gross motor skills and those sorts of things – so she was probably not the best expert to ask. I didn’t realize this. As soon as we got to the private OT, it made such a difference. She specializes in sensory needs and she was able to tell right away what he needed, what could help. Even with an expert though, there were a few things that normally calm kids down that stimulated my son. (My main point: it will go much easier for you if you can see an expert OT in sensory issues even a few times to help you find what works for you.) 

I would also like to point out that all young children and even teens and adults can benefit from sensory experiences incorporated into their daily lives. Children especially benefit because they are still discovering the world with all of their senses and stimulating that helps them to learn.

I have been concerned about going back to school because at our school in first grade the children only have one recess for 15-20 min right before lunch. The things that help my son organize and calm his body down are all available to him at recess. Stomping, jumping, climbing, swinging, running – those are all terrific things for sensory kids to do in order to allow their bodies to be prepared for later in the day. I have been concerned about his sitting so long and being able to attend in school. So, I asked our OT to help me get a good morning routine going for us.

I have generally been a very laid back morning routine person. I get my son up extra early so he doesn’t have to rush to get ready and can take some time to wake up. She has asked us to try introducing a very structured routine that uses a timer to help the boy learn to organize his time better as well as help him prepare for school.

I have some great tips from her that will help any child I think.

1. Add protein to the morning meal. My son has eating issues and so I can’t just give him some bacon with his cereal or something like that. But the OT said that protein and healthy fat will help his brain perform the higher functioning skills he needs for the morning. She suggested a few things: high fat/high protein yogurt. She specifically suggested a brand – Greek Gods Greek Yogurt is one of them. It has 11 grams of fat per serving of plain and 17 grams of fat per serving of the fruit blended yogurts as well as 4 – 8 grams of protein. There is also another locally made yogurt (I don’t know where it’s available right now) called NOOSA yogurt. It is also very high in fat and protein. She also mentioned Van’s Power Grain Waffles – it has protein in the waffles. My son doesn’t eat peanut butter, but she said peanut butter toast or waffles or even a sandwich is a great breakfast because it has that healthy fat and protein as well. She also suggested some rice protein powder shakes or smoothies. She makes yogurt/fruit/protein smoothies and freezes them in a popsicle mold so there is also sensory input from sucking on them.

2. Cartoons. We have allowed our son to watch one cartoon when he first gets up in the morning. Even on school days. I know, many people don’t and they think it’s unhealthy or distracting. I honestly agree. But he has always watched a little as he wakes up and while I take my shower. She said that it’s actually fine as long as he isn’t sitting and watching all morning, AND as long as it’s a certain kind of cartoon. She would also prefer that he sit on an exercise ball or in a rocking chair while watching as well. I think live action shows are ok too, as long as it follows the following recommendation. So, which shows ARE ok to watch before school? There was a study that came out a few years ago that said that certain cartoons cause a child’s brain to shut down higher functioning skills for a certain amount of hours after watching them. If watched repeatedly over time, they actually change the way a child’s brain works. It particularly targeted shows like Spongebob. What was interesting though, is it wasn’t the content of the show, or the words they use or if they are educational or not. It was the movement in the background. If the background movement is fast paced and changes quickly and often, that is the sole indicator that seemed to affect the brain. I am actually very sensitive to this myself. I can’t stand cartoons that are racing across the screen and I can’t stand video games because of the same thing. It actually kicks up my fight or flight response and makes me feel anxious. But most people don’t understand what I am talking about when I say that, so I am going to give you two examples. Please pay attention to the BACKGROUND of the show. (hint: Disney Jr has a real problem with this in my opinion – just like Spongebob.)  

Example 1 – fast paced background: In this Scooby Doo clip the background is moving or changing most of the time.

Example 2 – Slow paced background: In this Arthur episode the background changes much less and is slower paced as well. (once you get past the intro)

Our OT said if I allow him to watch the shows that have fast paced backgrounds I am basically turning off his brain and sending him to school. Wow. That’s a wake up call. We are trying to slowly eliminate movies and tv in our home – I think my son acts like a different person the more he watches and the more game time he has. I don’t want it affecting his brain in that way. But for now, I am glad I at least know which shows are better and which are worse. 

3. Movement. Kids need to move. Kids like my son who need help organizing his body need to move in certain ways. We call it heavy work. She suggested we break it into two times – 15 mins or so of each. The first category would be heavy work chores. Some examples of heavy work chores would be making the bed (pulling blankets, lifting pillow, etc), vacuuming, pushing in chairs (mom pulls them way out, kid pushes them in), carrying or pushing a basket of laundry, even carrying his somewhat heavy backpack. The second category would be fun heavy work – like wrestling with dad, jumping on the trampoline (or couch or bed right now since we don’t have our trampoline set up), running, jumping off the couch onto a big cushion. I know, some of that sounds like it wouldn’t be calming – but putting major pressure onto the joints of the body, especially the spine is very calming after you are done. Swimming is a terrific calming exercise for the whole body, so the family I know that does swim team practice in the morning is in excellent condition for school. 

Here is a list of some heavy work ideas:  (while this site advertises all of the products people might need for sensory work, they are also a terrific place to find information on all things sensory, including a description of how it feels to have sensory problems.) Remember, some of these things might fatigue some children and might make other children seem hyper (alert them) so I would try them out before you do them in the morning before school and see how they react. My son usually seems worked up by jumping and crashing into cushions, but within a minute after he stops you can see his body is calmer, he isn’t fidgeting or walking around in circles, etc.

Now, she also didn’t want to fatigue him too much before school, so she also helped me think of some ideas for having a “heavy work breakfast.” A heavy work breakfast would include things that work your mouth and jaw. Some ideas she gave me were: sucking yogurt through a straw (or a milkshake), switching out a crunchy apple for our normal strawberries or grapes, trying some fruit leather (very chewy). Anything that really works the jaw. A short list of ideas is: apples, carrots, nuts, grape nuts cereal, Pretzels, flavored ice cubes (made with juice), corn chips, fruit leather, gummy candies, beef jerky, or using a straw to suck up pudding or smoothies.

She also suggested letting him chew gum the whole morning besides when he is eating. Mouth heavy work really works well for him. 

One more suggestion that has worked well in the past – we used to do a kiddo sandwich or burrito – we would put him between two couch cushions and push on him (make sure you don’t push hard enough to hurt him, but enough to give him a good pressure) or roll him up tightly in a blanket or sheet and keep him there for several minutes – let them push their way out as well. 

It all makes sense when I think about it. My body does better when I get the proper nutrients, the proper exercise and when I am able to control the way my body feels.

I will continue to post the things we try and what progress we see as we continue our journey. 






Russian School

It has been brought to my attention (repeatedly) that Russia has vastly different schooling traditions. Apparently some people I know think that their way is much better. I am not sure I think it’s all better than our way, but I am interested by the differences and thought I would share a little taste of culture. I think some of it might be better and some might be worse – but of course, it’s all a matter of opinion.

*please note I am going off of discussions with my Mother in law, my husband’s small amount of answering my questions and what I read on the internet. So if any of this is wrong, or unlike your Russian school experience, forgive me. Sometimes things get lost in translation.*

1. Day of Knowledge. School starts all over the country on the same day. None of this some schools start one day, some schools start the next week, some don’t start until after Labor Day crap. They all start on September 1 and they all have a big celebration. It’s called “day of knowledge” and it’s a huge thing. The kids all dress up in their finest clothes. Suits and dresses and hair done and nice shoes. The girls wear GIANT white bow things in their hair. The bigger the better. The teachers dress up and come out and meet their class and the kids give them flowers and all the parents are there, also dressed up. When you are in “class 1” it’s extra special and a girl student from first grade rides on the shoulders of a “last class” (11th grade) male student and rings a bell signifying the start of the school year. Everyone claps and and all the old ladies say “first class first time” to each other a million times. And ooo and ahh about how precious it all is. There is singing and poetry and the director of the school comes out to welcome everyone in. Apparently some places the teacher runs into the school with her class. The children only go to school for a short time the first day and when they go home, most families have a big dinner (which always includes drinks) and have neighbors and family over. (some things I read say that the classes between 1 and 11 don’t do the celebration part at the school, but in my husband’s area apparently they did) 


2. When the children are small they go a little bit more each day to school before going full day to get used to sitting after summer.

3. The children go to school with the same teacher and the same classmates from 1st to 5th grade. The teacher knows the students and how they learn and the class becomes like a little family. Some of my teacher friends said they can’t imagine having to remember the curriculum for, develop plans for, and teach all of those grades. I think it sounds nice, though. A teacher who really knows you would help a lot…. unless you are “that kid” or just don’t mesh well with the teacher. And I suppose if you had a classmate you hated you would have to live with it instead of hoping they would go to a different class next year.

4. The Russian schools don’t have homework in the younger grades. To be fair,  neither did I, probably until about 5th grade, but apparently these days they do. Most nights. 

6. They serve a lot of soup at school lunch. Everyone knows that soup is very important for digestion. (I have actually been reading that things like soup and fermented foods like pickles ARE very good for digestion, so I can’t knock it.) I don’t think they take lunches from home in Russia either.

7. When it’s cold, they don’t play outside. I grew up in Wyoming. If it wasn’t 0 degrees and a blizzard, we went outside. Here in Colorado the rule is below 32 degrees with the windchill, or heavy rain or snow. I think it’s good to get outside and burn off energy. My son takes a coat and gloves and hat and boots and scarf every day of the winter season and he loves going outside with his friends. In Russia, though, you get sick from being out in the cold, or wind in your ears, or drinking drinks with ice in them…. so I can see how parents wouldn’t want you to go out in the snow.

9. Where my husband grew up everyone went to the same school building all through the years. You didn’t have an elementary school and a middle school and a high school. They were all in one building. 

Honestly, I don’t know how the education is there. My husband is very smart. He learned 3 languages in school, but I think that’s because he went to a special Armenian school in Russia. They learned Russian and English in the regular Russian schools even in elementary age school and he learned Armenian as well. He is very smart, especially in math and even though it doesn’t sound like he loved school, he did well. Most of the younger people I met there speak some English and understand more. That alone is better than most schools I have been associated with here. They all have excellent handwriting and he says they were forced to practice over and over until the letters and numbers looked perfect. My handwriting is atrocious and I never cared to fix it, and I wasn’t made to. Over 50% of high school students go on to college and graduate. They don’t put money into school and not graduate. I know they know how to work hard and to respect their elders. Other than that, I can’t speak to their actual quality of education. 


Therapy Shmerapy

My soon to be 7 year old son (as most of you probably already know) has sensory processing disorder. It’s kind of a difficult thing to deal with when children are younger and as they get older most people just learn to deal with it. Some people carry it over into adulthood, but not a lot of them. Or they don’t have such a difficult time filtering out things that stimulate them too much unless they have other disorders that also tend to have sensory processing problems, like autism. I think all of us probably have some sort of issues that we can relate to – for example, perfume often gives me a migraine. Or makes a migraine much worse. The first time I remember it happening was when my family went to a Rotary Show my father was performing in. I was in 5th grade and the lady in front of us had a very strong perfume on. It made me so sick that by the time we got home I was in tears. Some people hate noisy crowded places. Some people hate being touched a lot…. You get the idea.

We have been doing OT (occupational therapy) for it this summer and have seen some significant changes. Not all of the changes have been preferable to ME, but the OT has explained that sometimes things get worse before they get better. The boy hasn’t been able to properly process his surroundings – and basically everything we learn, we learn through our senses. So he is behind developmentally in quite a few areas. There have been a couple weeks where he wouldn’t stop touching everything he saw. There were some days where he was walking into me and in front of me, tripping me a lot. There were a LOT of days where it seems like he doesn’t know where his body is – very clumsy, flailing his arms, at karate the teacher told him to stand a certain way and he just kept turning the other way. I feel badly for him because he doesn’t know what the problem is – he can’t tell what he is doing.

The last two weeks he has been loud. REALLY loud. Talking loud, screaming a lot, making nonsensical noises, banging and clapping and blowing a whistle. The last four days he has been either singing or humming or pretend whistling (loud high pitched humming). NON STOP. Literally, I don’t think he has stopped for more than five minutes at a time in the last four days. And it’s driving me insane. I really have been trying to be good about letting him work through these things. Lovingly tell him he is too loud, and try not to get upset. It’s not his fault. It really isn’t. 

Honestly, if he was singing some lovely songs or having fun making up songs, that would be much more bearable. But he’s not. He’s singing the song to Super Mario Brothers in a hu hu hu    huHUhuhu format. Or pretend whistling it. Or humming it. For four days straight. 

I have tried to put on earphones with some music. That has helped. I have tried to turn up the music in the car. I have tried sending him out on our patio some. I have tried getting him to sing another song. Even putting on his favorites didn’t help. He kept humming Super Mario while he was listening to the other music. 

He starts school in 2 days. I hope he stops by then, I don’t know what the teacher will do if she has to tell him to be quiet every 2 minutes.

Tonight I have put in earplugs. I can’t take it anymore. I know this is a good sign. I know it means he is progressing. And I am happy. I just hope I live through Super Mario. 

Food Therapy #4

I feel the need to keep going back and updating our food therapy information. Here is my last post on food therapy – which has two links on it to #1 and #2 – those have the most in depth info about what we do and why.

The reason I feel the need to do this is that I get sooooooo many questions about what we do and why and how it works. I get so many moms who say “wow. I am so glad to read this. I thought I was going insane.” (or was a bad mom, or had something horribly wrong with my kid) Most families I know that go through extreme eating issues with their children find very little support from family or friends or even doctors. They get so frustrated. The women and men I meet in real life – at food therapy or at school – all have been at a point where they hate food, they hate meal times, they have stopped cooking for the family, they avoid food themselves or over eat, they are embarrassed to talk about it because people say “just make him eat…” like you are stupid and haven’t thought of that yourself. They don’t know how to explain to other parents (or doctors or teachers) that normal methods don’t work. That this child WILL starve themselves. That THIS child isn’t just being obstinate. 

We have seen some amazing progress this summer with my son and I really want to share some of what we are doing because it has really helped and it’s all new. 

I don’t want anyone to take any of my posts as medical advice, or to use this in place of trying to get professional help. But I do feel like if one tip helps one mom out there feel less crazy and alone, then it’s worth writing down. 

At the end of spring we started seeing an OT for my son’s sensory processing issues. She has really helped and has given me some great ideas. Our feeding therapy kind of felt like it was stalled. We had gotten past the freak out if the food is even on the table phase. We had gotten past the taking a tiny “ant bite” of new foods without melting down for hours. We were confident licking and smelling and kissing and exploring new foods through touch. We were stalled at that point. I could not get past “taking a tiny ant bite” to “eating half of a hot dog” or whatever food we were working on. 

I have to be honest I was getting a little frustrated. A tiny ant bite does not a meal make. Even several tiny ant bites doesn’t make a meal. 

The feeding therapist and the OT therapist collaborated. We started having both therapies in the gym. The OT combined heavy work with trying new foods. It has been amazing so far. Apparently the use of both gross motor skills and fine motor skills can help some kids feel less anxiety or push through the anxiety about trying new foods. I am going to list some of the things that have helped us or that have been suggested to us and a brief description. I don’t think any of these things could be detrimental really, (please make sure there is no choking hazard – don’t jump while actually swallowing unless you are confident your child has the coordination not to choke, etc) so I don’t feel funny giving “therapy suggestions” when I am not a qualified therapist. Trying similar type activities may help other children too. 

The progress I have seen over the summer has been incredible. We have gone from refusing meats all together to eating 2 chicken nuggets or a whole slice of deli turkey at a time. We have also tried quite a few new veggies and snack type foods with out major melt downs. Honestly this is the fastest and most encouraging success I have seen.

I want to mention that some parents like to do food therapy at main meals and some parents like to do it at snack time so meals are more “mannered” or more “socially acceptable” – let’s face it, grandma might not think it’s so fun to paint with pudding on her dinning room table. Our therapists have always let us choose whether we want to make main meals part of the therapy time. When I am just tasting new things, getting used to a new smell, etc – I don’t mind using meal time for that. But I do think that using meal time for some of the games we have done is more for snack time. When we first started and we were holding a cracker (for example) in our lips and spitting it in a bowl, I chose not to do that at meal time. These gross motor skill and find motor skill ideas I have also mostly chosen to do at snack time. (not snack foods – all foods – but not during family dinner) If I had more children I would definitely do them at a time separate than sit down family meals, mostly because I think chaos could quickly ensue. But it may be helpful to include other siblings.  

Ideas we are using and have had success with:

1. Heavy work. We have seen awesome, awesome progress using this. Heavy work is simply exercises that use your major muscles. Kids with sensory problems like my son benefit greatly from core muscle improvement as well as major muscle work. Examples are things like lifting hand weights, jumping up and down, climbing things, running, hand stands, bear crawls, swimming, lifting a heavy ball, pull ups, pushing or lifting and moving heavy things like full laundry baskets, full bookbags and couch cushions, karate type moves with punching and kicking – especially with contact to a heavy bag. All good examples of heavy work. We try to incorporate these types of activities into our daily routine every 2 hours. At first it was difficult for me to think about it and say “ok, do some bear crawls”, but now it’s second nature and my son does much of it on his own throughout the day because it makes him feel better. So, how do we incorporate feeding therapy into this? We do heavy work while we try new foods. So far we have done things at the gym at OT like climbing and jumping onto a crash pad, swinging on a platform swing, hanging by his hands, crawling through tunnels, etc. At the gym he would do one activity in a 3-4 activity circuit and then take 2-3 bites. At home he has made tall stacks of couch cushions, climbed up them and jumped off, then ran over to get a bite, then run back to climb again or rearrange and climb. (the lifting, climbing and jumping onto a pillow are all heavy work) He has done jumping jacks, stomping, jumping, running, climbing at the park (my OT likes park work a lot, so she suggested picnics) and swimming at the pool we have access to a the apartments – next summer we will have to get a season pass to a local pool – it is such good therapy. He just does some heavy work for a few minutes, then runs back for a bite. It is going amazingly well. No fighting, no fussing, no upset snack times.

2. Movement. My son loves to swing. He loves to spin (and doesn’t get dizzy or nauseated). He loves to ride fast rides. Any kind of movement like that is terrific for him. He has done some really good work between turns on the swing at the park and in the gym at OT (I had to put a limit – for example 10 swings, jump out, run to me for one bite). I can’t wait until we get our house – we have a Twizzler (a spinning toy that you hang on from your hands) and his dad is already figuring out swing ideas after he saw what we do at therapy. I think that will be excellent for food therapy. Some kids might do well on a sit and spin or rocking chair as well.

3. Stomping – this is basically heavy work, but it has worked so well my son does it on his own now – and doesn’t even always realize it. If he is feeling anxious about a food, or having a hard time taking another bite, he stomps his feet under the table. Wow. It helps so much he does it himself. Just encourage stomping during bite taking or chewing or swallowing and it may really help. 

4. Fine motor skills. Games. My feeding therapist did this and it helped a lot. I don’t know if it’s a distraction or what – she said fine motor skill work sometimes helps kids – but didn’t really explain the reasoning. We have a travel “connect four” and a small checkers board. I am looking at a travel sized battleship and a few others. Basically how it works is you set up the game, and every time they take a bite, they get a turn. You take your turn, they take a bite, and they get their turn. It really has helped. I think it’s better to do as a once in a while thing so it doesn’t lose it’s novelty.

Now, I know some of you are thinking “but I can’t even get him to kiss a piece of turkey, much less eat it!!!!” Stop waving your kid’s turkey eating in my face! 

I get it. I do. I was there this time last year. But tiny progress is better than no progress. So your kid won’t bite deli turkey. That’s ok. Have him lick it between swings or jumps or climbs. Have him kiss it. Have him stick a piece on his nose for 30 seconds. It can be scaled back or scaled up. Maybe you are going for more quantity – have him take 5 bites instead of one. This has been a terrific time to PUSH. I have been wary of pushing before now. I always took the least aggressive route because we were building trust. I have really been able to push during these activities without causing mistrust issues.

This all has helped way way more than I thought it would. I encourage anyone to try it. 

Some more resources I have found interesting: 

This blog post about how bouncing helps feeding issues:

And honestly the whole blog:

This pinterest board: 

This whole blog: 

This site:

Tons more out there if you have a few minutes to google “food therapy and occupational therapy ideas.” There are lots of people way more experienced with me with terrific ideas!