You may notice this post is out of order. Evidently, counting is not my strong suit – and I missed Day #118. So, here is a post for Day #118.
As most parents with children on the spectrum know – eating can be a challenge. The toast is too crusty, the potatoes are mushy, the jello too squishy, the chips too crunchy. Yes – too crunchy chips – who knew?
Tucker went through a phase of about two years where he would only eat scrambled eggs for breakfast. I happily obliged because they are relatively healthy and packed with protein. Some moms at the time couldn’t believe that I would take the time to make him eggs every morning.
Okay, first – scrambled eggs don’t take that much time. Really. Let’s be honest. Crack two eggs in a pan and take a fork to them as they begin to cook. Waalaaa! Scrambled eggs.
Second? Well…I knew (from taking classes in learning and cognitive development in college) that he needed protein for brain development and clearer thinking. Funny how we learn that stuff thinking we’ll NEVER in a million years actually use it.
Most children are born with all the brain cells they need – but the cells are not connected. These connectors are called neurotransmitters. Protein helps form these neurotransmitters. Protein also helps keep the insides of brain cells and cognitive tissue healthy. They even assist in production of new nerve cells, helping his brain to grow.
When it comes down to it…in my own brain I figured the more help we could get making strong neurotransmitters, the better.
I also knew that protein is imperative in thinking clearly, concentrating, and learning. While I wasn’t ever worried about malnutrition – any extra boost I could find in helping his brain think clearly I would take. “A study printed in July 2008 in the journal “Behavioral and Brain Functions” found that children with chronic protein energy malnutrition suffered from lower IQs and test scores in school, behavioral problems, poor memory and other cognitive deficiencies. These children lacked sufficient protein and calories in their diets.” (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/role-protein-brain-function-kids-4273.html)
When it comes down to it…in my own brain I figured the more help we could get with clearer thinking and more concentrated learning, the better.
I was making eggs last year and Tucker was ‘helping’ me.
I cracked the eggs.
I put the eggs into the warm pan.
After they began to turn white, I cut them with my fork. I stirred them all around to cause the scrambling effect.
MY heart stopped – when he gasps one of two things is about to happen.
He said, “Mom. It’s like my brain. My brain is an egg.”
Do you remember this commercial? If you are a child of the 1980’s, you most certainly do.
That’s all I could think of – he thinks his brain is fried. The corners of my mouth began to turn down. I looked at him with wistful eyes.
“No, Tucker – your brain is just fine the way it is.”
“No mom. It is! So my brain is whole like this egg (he picks up a regular egg) – with an outer shell, see (he knocks on his noggin). They are all alike. All of the eggs. Even when you crack them they are all alike. But then it gets all scrambled up. Kind of like my thoughts. Scrambled.”
Jaw dropping – especially for the child who struggles to understand similes and metaphors.
“But…it’s the same. Like you’ve always said. Eggs taste like eggs. Even scrambled up my brain is still good. Scrambled eggs are good and so is my brain.”
Who knew something as simply as eggs could provide such clear definition to autism?