Back to the Clinic for Jono

After three and a half full days in Kansas City catching up on work, having meetings and shooting a number of TV programs and promos for IHOP and TheCall – I (Jono) managed to get my assistant to take me to the airport for an early morning flight back to California (thanks Hanna – your reward is in Heaven :)) After an interesting 3 hours talking to a Catholic Theology and Philosophy College Student I finally saw the Bay with the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz and the San Francisco skyline basking in the morning sun. And after landing at Oakland I spent a very productive few hours with Fremont Christian Church – a Chinese Church in the Fremont area – which strangely enough is this weekend hosting a speaker from Kansas City called Mike Bickle…

Anyway – Shari posted the blog on a feeding group – so I better get straight to business – today Josiah’s feeding has gone back up again – he ate over 1400 calories at the clinic and tonight greedily “downed” another 3oz (90 cals) of Pediasure at the hotel room – he would have taken more – but we thought it prudent not to make him spit up (not that he has been spitting up – but I guess I’m so used to it). Ben has noticed a decline in the milk that he was drinking and thinks it is down to the water we are giving him – so has suggested we give him milk – it is so refreshing to have a baby who is grabbing the cup to have a drink rather than having a baby that twists and turns so the cup doesn’t come near his mouth.

Shari and the other Mom who is doing an intensive at Los Altos have become crusaders for the behavioural approach to feeding therapy writing on online forums – even as I write this she is feverishly typing away 🙂 In the last day she has been following a thread of a family who were going to come to Los Altos but wanted the opinion of one of the main schools of Occupational Therapy thought

In response to the question of how can we get kids to eat this leading OT said

First of all, I don’t believe that we can ever “get kids to eat”. Somehow the eating part is really the kid’s job and not something that we get them to do. Encouraging kids to eat is part of our job and for me isn’t based on a series of techniques. The firm foundation is attitudinal and is really a philosophy of what we believe and how we perceive the kids and the choices they have made. Let me see if I can expand a bit on this idea.
When we judge our kids as having a behavioral problem or are fearful that they are not progressing fast enough, our attitudes and beliefs communicate themselves loud and clear to the child. They become guarded inside, in part because they know they can’t trust us. Most of their energy is going toward protecting themselves and not toward learning something new. So, for me, the first and most important step is becoming clearer about my own attitudes and beliefs. I’m not talking about just appearing to be accepting and encouraging to the child. When our inner messages don’t match the outer messages we give kids, it is confusing for them and they protect themselves even more by saying “no”.

Now I don’t think all OTs take this approach – our OT in KC is very eager to learn new approaches to feeding and is great – but the approach that the OT here suggests is responsible for a generation of kids who are selfish and wilful – after talking about it we responded (I wrote this:

I’m sure you are way more educated in this field than I, I’m just the parent of a preemie with feeding difficulties – but your whole approach to feeding seems bogus. When I was growing up I was “made” to eat everything on my plate, I wasn’t “allowed” to leave the table unless I had eaten everything on the plate. I didn’t like it at the time, but I am so grateful to my parents for loving me enough to teach me how to eat, how to have respect for others, how to think of others apart from myself. We have brought our little fella to the Los Altos Feeding Clinic because he didn’t know how to eat – every bite is painful. Nobody enquired of his preferences when we stuck the feeding tube down his nose and into his stomach – we did it because we loved him and wanted to see him grow, likewise I’m not asking his preferences now when we are overcoming some of the difficulties and teaching him to eat. Sure he cried and screamed the first few times and spit up – but he did that again and again when we put the tube down his nose – but after only a few days he stopped and started to eat. If we took the OT route at what point would he eat? When he wanted – 5 years old? 10 years old? And accepting the fact that he is a “picky” eater because nobody has loved him enough to show him there is another better way. I’m just one parent with a whole system that says otherwise – but this one parent says – if you love your baby take medical advice – but don’t bow to every whim of the baby – do whats in their best interest. An approach which bows to these whims is not only bad (really bad) for the child – but it bodes ill for our society as a whole.

A Concerned Parent

About Jono Hall

Disciple of Jesus, Husband and Father, Intercessory Missionary, Senior Leader at International House of Prayer and Teacher at IHOPU
This entry was posted in Family Business, Personal Updates, Preemie Journey and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Back to the Clinic for Jono

  1. Jodi Ink says:

    I totally agree! Josh and I are really excited to hear about the progress you guys are making. I am glad you and Shari are sharing your experiences and advice with others in the same situation.Bless you!

  2. Kathleen says:

    Hi there :o)Just wanted to say GREAT for your progress at LAFC!My testimonial is # 9 on the website, my name is Kathleen and I also happen to be an OT..BTW, Suzanne Morris is a speech language pathologist. Don’t know if the “OT way” you are referring to is how you have been treated by OT’s in the past (sorry) but I think it is more a treatment philosophy that can span the “helping” professions. I also happen to agree with your post (amen!) Take care and all the best!

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