So I keep coming back to Google and refining my queries.
[I am already weary of having the “Ani doesn’t eat” conversation with people. Because I’ve had it several times now and it goes like this:
“She won’t eat? Have you tried…” And then they suggest something really obvious.
Um, yes. We have tried that. We have like, three other kids? (Did you notice? Most people notice.) We’ve been around this block.
This is different. I can’t explain how to you yet. I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT MYSELF.
Do I sound snarky? I’m sorry. It stresses me out that my kid doesn’t eat.]
Here’s what I am learning:
• Feeding is a learned activity
• Hunger is instinctive; eating is not (source)
The homework we have been given so far by the OT was to get a Nuk toothbrush and get it near Ani’s mouth. Apparently to desensitize the area.
No, I don’t even know what that means.
So I began my Google search with Nuk and desensitize. And then, because I feel sure this was not something she was born with but happened because she lived in an institution, I added “international adoption.”
Best results thus far.
Ani shows signs of oral defensiveness:
Oral defensiveness occurs when solid food is not introduced on time; it can result in atrophy or lack of development of important muscles in the mouth and face, causing or exacerbating speech delays and sensory-integration disorders.
— The Complete Book of International Adoption by Dawn Davenport
This page would also deem her “discomfort with bathing, with having fingernails and toenails cut” as tactile defensiveness.
Y’know, it helps me to have some terms to Google. Give me an idea of what I’m dealing with here, people.
And to just read about other families undergoing anything similar. (How much does help to know you’re not alone, right?!?)
After reading a bunch of stuff like this, I get depressed. That things like this are “a very common description in post-institutionalized children.” Because kids shouldn’t BE in institutions; they should be in homes.
So I close all my open tabs and windows and just tell Kris “hey, I think we’re dealing with ‘oral defensiveness’ and here are the symptoms…”