So, on my long list of items to worry about with Penelope, I have had to add feeding skills. I have read that the low muscle tone thing typically makes it difficult for infants with T21 to eat. Appearantly, the low muscle tone, or hypotonia, makes it hard for Penny to coordinate the muscles in her mouth and therefore, it is hard for her to bring the food to the back of her mouth and swallow. There are a lot of muscles that need to work in concert to accomplish this seemingly simple feet. Alot of children with T21 also have an aversion to textures. Hard things like crakers can cause terror in some children. I don't think that is a problem with Penny. She likes to take carrots out of my hand and shove them into her mouth so she can teethe on the cold vegetable. I finally introduced puffed rice. I put it in front of her so she can decide whether or not she wants to try out a pincer grasp. She sitll rakes the puffed rice with her fingers and spreads them over the place. I know she is working things out though and she will get it -- sooner rather than later.
I just have concerns because when we give her pureed foods, the quasi-liquid seems to just slip out of her open mouth and drip all over the place. Then there are the much loved raspberries she blows in the air, spraying food all over the place. I love food showers!! However, when we add a bunch of rice cereal to the puree to give it an almost oatmeal consistency, she does really well it. I have concluded that it is because the texture just sticks to the inside of her mouth, so she has no choice really but to swallow it. I guess she doesn't like the sliminess, but then, can you blame her. My concern with adding the rice cereal just makes me wonder, am I cheating?