I decided to take the ARFID practitioner training from Dr. Kim DiRe' (see www.kimdire.com) earlier this year. I went down to Arizona in July to learn the first part of what I like to call "Dr. Kim's ARFID Recipe". Many practitioners have valuable techniques and tools to treat ARFID, but lack the proper combination and order of applying these tools and techniques. And yes, as an ARFID Mom, I am an expert in assessing which of these tools and techniques are effective. When I met Kim and listened to her "recipe", I immediately knew that this was different, that this makes complete sense, and that she completely "gets" it.
As a parent, I of course want immediate results for my son. But, I quickly learned that ARFID treatment can take up to 2 years for full recovery - where it does not come back. So, I hunkered down and began the process with my son. I have currently completed 64 hours of ARFID training and I have learned so much! I began working on my son to regulate his nervous system. We started at the beginning of August, it is now the beginning of December - so roughly 4 months later. During these past 4 months, I learned a TON. First, I learned to let go of all expectations and embraced that my son will HEAL IN THE ORDER THAT IS BEST FOR HIM AND ON THE TIME FRAME THAT IS BEST FOR HIM. This is very important to understand. They will not heal on "our" time frame and how "we" want them to. They will not eat the foods that "we" pick out, they will eat the foods that "they" pick out. Our job as parents is to observe the small openings and celebrate the small successes - because this is the therapy - all of the small things will add up into the big things in the end. We can't start with the big things, we can't start with eating any food. We will end up there though, if we do it right.
So, we started with the therapy and I first tried to introduce Pistachios to my son. He wanted nothing of it. So, instead of getting completely discouraged, I backed off the Pistachios and contiued the therapy. We went almost 3 months before we brought food back into the game. Here's what I noticed during those 3 months of food-free therapy:
About a month ago, we started back in with the food therapy. I accepted that he wasn't ready in August, so in November we decided to try again. And guess what happened? We had our first success, then our second, third, and fourth! Again, they are small...but oh so HUGE! Here's what happened:
I am an ARFID Mom. I am the mother of a 12 year old boy with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). I have become the "expert" on my son's feeding issues. I am here to share what I've learned.