Motivating Li-Ann

Eating Cherries – Pitted or Whole

We eat cherries once in a super long while because they are expensive fruits. The last time we ate some cherries was about half a year ago.

Usually, I would remove the seed before I give the cherry to Li-Ann. Remembering my goal of encouraging LA to eat a cherry independently, I gave her one and told her how to eat it, “Take off the stem. Eat the flesh and spit out the seed. Look at how Jie Jie eats the cherry.” I knew I was not very specific in my instructions but I decided to give it a shot anyway. I recall vaguely that she spat out one seed coated with quite a bit of flesh and subsequently swallowed a few more. Then she gave up eating on her own and persuaded me to give her a pitted cherry instead.

Recently, our neighbour blessed us with some handpicked cherries from Australia. I was grateful for another opportunity to check on LA’s ability. She eyed the cherries like a hawk even before she finished her lunch. Cashing on her motivation, I gave her a cherry and the same instructions and watched. She ate up all the flesh and spat out a clean seed rather quickly!

“Good Job!” I applauded.

Then, she spat out the second seed which had a small lump of flesh on it.

“Very good! Try again.” I said, keeping my hopes high while handing her another cherry.

The third and fourth cherries were eaten whole. When I asked her where is the seed, she said, “There is no seed!” What defense!! Only the Creator knows if there are seedless ones in our bag of cherries. I really doubt it.

As I reminded her of the instructions, she was able to spit out another relatively clean seed. I was so thrilled with her progress as that required good oral motor and cognitive abilities. At least this time, she didn’t give up and even asked me for more cherries.

Two days later when we ate cherries again, she held each cherry, ate half of it, spat out the seed and then finished the rest of the flesh. Excellent problem solving there! And she had 15 cherries within the 10 minutes of therapy.

I believe Li-Ann will master the skill of eating cherries very soon! Thank you for praying for her.

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