I was talking to a new friend last week.  She was asking me some questions about Elizabeth because she has some strong feelings that her child has special needs.  She feels he may have Dyspraxia, like Elizabeth.

During our talk, she asked me about the difficulty we had teaching Elizabeth to use utensils to eat.  I told her that it was a struggle.

With Elizabeth’s special needs of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) and Dyspraxia, there were many layers to penetrate as we tried to teach this skill.  I told her I can remember how deftly she could feed herself with her fingers and how much harder it was for her to manipulate a spoon or fork.

This struggle would, of course, increase her anxiety and frustration.  And this would lead to many emotions.  None of which made the meal time the calm place we all wanted it to be.

I am happy to say that with work, she learned to use utensils quite well.  I can tell you that the most success we had was teaching her and breaking down the steps when it was NOT mealtime.  This way she was not hungry and frustrated.  And we could make it fun by having a treat be the food she was using for practice.

So as I told my friend all this, it kind of dawned on me that, for us, we went from fingers only to utensils.

Everyday utensils.

Meaning, we did not pit stop at any adaptive utensils.  Maybe it was that those were not as available as they are now or maybe because the internet was not all is it today. (think 1999)

But whatever the reason, I told my friend that maybe she should take a minute to look at some of the adaptive silverware that is available.  And maybe that would be a good idea as a starting point to increasing confidence and success.   Then the confidence can be built on.

So this brings me to this spoon that caught my eye.  It is called the Kizingo.   And what I like about it is that it is for the younger age group, meaning, you can use it early in your child’s life.  This early start is, in my opinion, a really good thing.

The other thing I like is the angle of the spoon.  So instead of your child needing to work hard to keep the food on the spoon and turn their arm to have it reach their mouth.  The spoon does that for you.  So your child can turn all their efforts into learning how to scoop and keep the food on the spoon.

If you can relate to this issue, take a look at our site for this spoon and other adaptive utensils as well.  Maybe one will fit your child’s needs and help them make some good success at a task that can be frustrating for typical developing children and even more so for those with special needs.

There is a picture of Elizabeth eating ice cream that brings home my point.  She has the spoon upside down in her mouth.  So the ice cream is touching her tongue not the room of her mouth.  She did this because she could hold the dish of ice cream close to her chin and quickly push the spoon in.   Yes, she did get the ice cream into her mouth but not in the way we wanted her to.

So again, take a look at our site and see if anything fits your needs.

I wish everyone a peaceful week.

Michele Gianetti  author of “I Believe In You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey” and “Emily’s Sister”