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My second son Alejo, a little before he turned 2 years old, started to be very selective with his food and I began to notice changes in his posture, especially in his legs and in the way he reacted to certain situations. Textures bothered him, unexpected sounds irritated him and he would run to hide while covering his ears when certain appliances were turned on. He only received a couple of foods, the rest he spits out or rejected. And language became limited.

A thousand things and cases were going through my mind; I remembered my friends who were speech and occupational therapists when they dealt with these issues with their patients.

I took advantage of a trip to Colombia with my son for a family issue and with one of them, a specialist in dysphagia, we did some therapies but she did not see anything strange in the functional issue, only something sensory.

Upon returning home, the child's refusal to eat worsened and his pediatrician in the United States referred him to sensory and speech therapy. My stress also worsened, because in my mother's heart I felt that something was wrong and that what that pediatrician said: "give him only chips and nuggets from Mc Donald´s, if that is what he likes and accepts, the day will come when he gets tired ", her answer did not please me, it was not what I expected.

I, a Physiotherapist with so many years of experience managing children with motor alterations of cerebral origin, working in a multidisciplinary team with excellent colleagues equally trained and specialized... wow! I had a very high expectation, and so high and giant was my crash. In the USA they handle very different programs; children with feeding problems are referred to occupational therapists and not to speech therapists, so I took a breath, breathed and pretended to be the mom who does not know everything in health, I remembered the moms of my patients, desperate, looking at the clock, watching everything around and asking everything; I acted like that and asked everything. This helped me to rule out a couple of places because the therapists only sat at a table playing games and spreading shaving foam without any direct contact with my son to look at him or touch his mouth.

We continued to look for options while the child was only fed with pediasure, chicken nuggets and French fries. We admitted him to a kindergarten to socialize and as a possible stimulus to eat when he saw other children eating, but the days went by and it did not work either.

He was referred to an ENT specialist who determined that he had a problem in his nose and throat (turbinates and adenoids), which is why he did not eat, because he did not feel the taste of food. After the surgery he said:

"In a month he will already eat", I very excited, but it was not so, and in control, seeing no positive result, he said that there was something else and that he would refer him to a specialist pediatrician and therapies.

Two weeks later, we received a letter, saying that our son was considered, according to the health system, as an autistic child and had to start the evaluation process to enter the official program.

he world shut down, my husband did not understand, he said to me: "you are the expert, what do we do?", he remembered someone who has an autistic child and we did not know who was worse, him or me, knowing what this meant and what it entails for me, because I have attended children with very severe motor alterations, but I did not prepare myself for this issue.


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