Seattle Children’s Feeding Clinic

posted in: Apollo, Special Needs | 14

Yesterday we made another trek down to the Seattle Children’s Feeding Clinic. Yes, these visits get old, yes I get sick of driving to Seattle and yes, we usually stop for coffee. As if hot, rich coffee can somehow lessen the blow of a hundred mile drive. But really, who am I kidding? Of course it does. Apollo usually asks for a cake pop at these stops, but yesterday he asked for “that iced tea stuff” instead. 

 Apollo patiently waiting for his drink at Starbucks. Seattle Children's Feeding Clinic

Oh my goodness…as I was taking these pictures I couldn’t help but think about how Apollo’s childhood is so different from our other children. Doctors, surgeries, tubes, therapy. We never would have bought our older children their own drink at Starbucks…but driving 200 miles round trip for doctor’s visits kind of sucks…and sometimes a little iced tea makes all the difference in the world. 

Combine that with his feeding issues and we call this outing Feeding Therapy!

Apollo patiently waiting for his drink at Starbucks. Seattle Children's Feeding Clinic

He downed that sucker in less than five minutes. I’m not even sure I had taken a drink of my coffee yet!

We used to homeschool...now we hospital school. Seattle Children's Feeding Clinic

We used to homeschool. Now we hospital school. 

Looking through the glass of the Seattle Children's Hospital aquarium. Seattle Children's Feeding Clinic

We got another great report at the feeding clinic. He is maintaining his weight and has even gained a bit! As I explained last time, they measure Apollo’s weight gain in grams…not ounces. They are looking for steady gain, something so subtle it doesn’t register when weighing but the pound or even kilogram. This isn’t weight that is noticeable by any other measurement.  They graph it and are able to see trends over the past months. 

After Apollo is weighed and measured, the rest of the hour-long visit is spent just talking. I’ll be the first to admit that these appointments are tedious when “all we do” is talk. Someday I will take the time to write out exactly what we have learned, but today is not that day.  The Seattle Children’s Feeding Clinic is still small, understaffed and not getting nearly the recognition it deserves. And because of that, many children are not getting the treatment, therapy and help they need. 

And I know…he looks healthy (!) and bright-eyed and of a normal size. But all of this still takes work. Eating is work for Apollo and we aren’t on easy street yet. In my opinion the things that have made the biggest difference in his eating are:

Getting his tonsils removed

Support at the Feeding Clinic.

The speech therapy he is getting at school.

We would not be where we are today, without those interventions. Even six months of actual feeding therapy up here didn’t yield any results. 

Apollo enjoys a Happy Meal after a Happy visit to the Feeding Clinic. Seattle Children's Feeding Clinic

After our feeding clinic visits (which are always at 11 am) we head to McDonald’s. This is Apollo’s choice and this is always what he asks for. He likes Happy Meals with chicken nuggets and fries. This is his just reward for a day spent driving and talking about eating. 

And today he is anticipating an exciting day at school, the Science Van is coming and his very first Valentine’s Day party!

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14 Responses

  1. Wow!! i’ve been off for awhile,so it’s astonishing to see how tall he has gotten!

  2. maureen angelino

    Thanks for the update. He looks great! Hi, Apollo!! Cosette and Jude, your friends in Pennsylvania, pray for you every day. 🙂

  3. I’m not sure what’s happening with the underlying script on your webpage recently your pages keep moving around while I try to read them. For example, photos 1,3, 4 and 5 are constantly scaling smaller. #2 is fine for some reason. This makes the rest of the text jump around as it tries to fit on the page as the photos are getting smaller. As I type this, the page keeps scrolling up because of the photos shrinking. Eventually the photos shrink into nonexistence. Thanks for the update!

  4. Yay for gaining!

  5. Take heart. You’re doing a good job.

  6. Good to hear Apollo is doing well! He’s looking very grown up lately – the short, dark hair probably has a lot to do with it! I remember you doing a picture post about the Baker’s Dozen kids at two, in response to a comment about two-year-old Apollo looking like all of his siblings at different times. Can I suggest a follow up, ‘Baker’s Dozen kids at five’ post?

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      Yes, his hair is *so* dark now! That is a great idea! I’ll work on that.

  7. rebecca montgomery

    Hi there, I would love to hear how the speech therapy Apollo is receiving in his school is helping him in the food/eating/growth department. A son of mine who has a significant stutter and some facial tics is receiving some speech help at our local school. I’m just curious to hear what your experience with speech therapy has been like. Thanks!

    • bakersdozenandapolloxiv

      I cannot believe how fast he is picking up new sounds! He can now say his “f”, “v” and “k” sounds and his talking is so much clearer. I am thrilled. As far as his eating, it is hard to make a direct and absolute correlation but we went from discussing the need to tube feed him AT school in October, to him not being tube fed at all and still maintaining/gaining. Interestingly, they haven’t done much research connecting feeding issues with speech issues, which seems really odd.

      I am not at school to see his speech therapy, but I know he has it several times a week (maybe every day) and we noticed him saying new sounds within the first two weeks. I shudder to think if we hadn’t put him in kindergarten, he wouldn’t be getting any speech therapy at all.

  8. […] One thing that stood out to me is rule two of the PIcky-Free Parenting which is, “As parents, we will decide what foods are offered, when, and where. As kids, we will decide, of the food that is offered, what we will eat and how much”. This is part of what Ellyn Satter calls the division of responsibility in eating and is exactly what we were taught to do down at the Seattle Children’s Hospital Feeding Clinic. […]

  9. […] old. It took years of feeding therapy, surgeries, trial and error, and over a year of visiting the feeding clinic at Seattle Children’s Hospital before he was able to eat entirely by […]

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