Last night I offered Emma a chicken dish I’d prepared with butternut squash and golden raisins on coconut rice. “Just taste it Em.” I placed it in front of her and then walked away.
As I was washing dishes I heard Emma say, “It’s okay. You have to eat it. Take another bite.” I continued to wash dishes and pretended to ignore her. When I peeked over at her she was eating another forkful of the chicken and rice! Even though I continued to say nothing, she said in her stern voice, “Okay take one more bite and then it’s all finished.” By the time I came over to her she’d eaten all the chicken and four forkfuls of the rice. I was ecstatic.
This morning after Emma had her breakfast of two pieces of gluten free toast with almond butter, I began packing up some things to take to my studio. After about five minutes I looked up and didn’t see Emma anywhere. “Hey Em! Where are you?” I heard some rustling noises near the refrigerator and went to see what she was doing.
And there she was, scooter next to her, her beloved string in her lap, furtively eating some green grapes – her newest favorite fruit.
“Hey Em. Why not sit at the dining room table?”
“No table. Sitting on the floor,” she said, popping another grape into her mouth.
When it was time to put her coat on to go downstairs, Emma ran to the coat closet. “Scarf! Let’s see, how about this one?” She pulled down one of her scarves.
“Not too tight or we have to take it away,” she said in her stern voice. Carefully she tied her scarf around her neck so that it hung down outside of her coat.
“I like your scarf, Em.” I smiled at her.
“It’s cold outside.” Emma tightened the scarf slightly and fiddled with it until the snowman’s head lay next to his body. “There,” she said.
We’re taking this new diet one day at a time. Emma is making steady progress!
For more on Emma’s journey through a childhood of autism, go to: www.EmmasHopeBook.com