Chloe’s Chef

Chloe has difficulty chewing and swallowing and lacks motor planning and coordination for eating food.  She eats only pureed food.  To make sure Chloe receives the nutrition she needs, she eats baby food oatmeal mixed with Pediasure for her meals often.  She will also eat table food that has been blended.

At home, she doesn’t often eat the food that we eat; she just says, “No,” and waits for the oatmeal and Pediasure.  We are still hoping that she will eat more and more of the foods that we eat.  At school, she eats a school lunch.  It depends what is served for lunch whether she eats much of it or not.  Some days she eats most of it; other days she doesn’t eat it at all.

An aide at school, Mr. D, blends her lunch for her each day.  I loved a conversation that I had with him one day during Chloe’s lunch time.  He told me that he blends her lunch and looks forward to choosing how and what to blend and deciding which things to blend together, etc.  He said that he enjoys cooking and that he considers himself Chloe’s personal chef!  How cute is that?  Instead of dreading the messy job of blending the food and cleaning the blender, he looks forward to it and considers it an honor to do so.  He enjoys it.  And takes pride in it.  When it’s blended, he critiques the texture and then watches to see how well Chloe eats it.  It makes me smile to know that someone enjoys serving my child.

Our conversation also included his talking about how he loves to see what the kids know.  Even those who at first glance seem not to be grasping a concept, he loves to realize that they do, indeed, know.  He talked about how so many of the kids simply communicate differently, and he realized that so many times it is just up to us to figure out how to support the kids so that they will show us what they know. 

It was encouraging to talk to him.  Our conversation was filled with hope, passion, and a fresh energy for supporting children with disabilities.  I pray that his mind remains fresh and exciting and that he keeps on supporting children who benefit from it.

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