Many times children with Down syndrome have a little trouble with their fine motor skills. These fine motor skills are needed when it comes to using utensils and self feeding. It is actually pretty amazing all that is involved when it comes to self feeding once you break it out in small parts.
Nichole has pretty good fine motor skills, but still needs some help. part of the problem is that she gets easily distracted when she is eating. I would say that a good quantity of her meals usually ends up on her face, hair, and floor.
Recently I saw a blog post where a mom mentioned she would put a mirror in front of her child when the kid was eating. I wish I remembered where I saw this so I could give credit to whom credit is due.
Nichole seems to master many skills in front of mirrors. We have a large mirror in the kitchen where Nichole does most of her verbal play. She watches closely as she forms words and sounds, paying close attention to her lips and tongue. I knew right away that having a mirror in front of her could turn out to be the best thing in helping her master those skills needed in self feeding.
Our great friends from Early Intervention had the perfect mirror and they are letting us borrow it until we can get our own.
And let me just say...it works! Nichole loves seeing herself in front of a mirror, and she is so aware of every move! She also talks to herself and strikes her "poses" to see how cute she is.
Although some food is still being wiped of her face and her hair still needs washing, it is amazing how much better she has done when she eats with the mirror in front of her. She is even wiping her own face when she sees she is dirty. She did before too, but now she can see when she if she needs to do more than one swipe to clean her face.
So happy eating everyone!