When Curtis Bell, Jr., was just 2 months old, his father, Curtis Sr., noticed that his eye movement seemed off somehow. When he asked his wife, Jennifer, about it she brushed him off. For the most part Jennifer felt Curtis was developing typically. “At first I didn’t notice much difference in him. He was a happy baby that liked different sounds and people and environments,” she says. “He was responsive with his eyes and held attention on objects. Whatever my husband was seeing, I just couldn’t see.”
When Curtis was 5 months old the family’s pediatrician gave them the go-ahead to introduce baby food. Curtis seemed interested and open to trying new foods, but after a week’s time he began refusing all food
. Jennifer didn’t worry—she assumed that after a little break he would regain interest. However, that wasn’t the case. Curtis also refused to hold his bottle. This led to some frustration for his parents, but they figured that he would reach these milestones
in his own time.
It had taken Curtis a year to start crawling, but he eventually got there. He even started holding his own bottle soon afterwards, so his parents assumed he would get to a place when he would be able to enjoy table foods. Yet at 18 months old, Curtis was still refusing food and was dependent on his bottle. They worked with him daily to get him to taste and hold down his food. And he did start eating purees.
“During this time I tried to get him to accept soft table food, but he would vomit. So, I didn’t force it. At this time he still wasn’t pulling himself up or walking. He also hadn’t met his language milestones.”
All the while, the Bells were taking Curtis to his regular pediatric checkups. “I was honest with the doctor about him not meeting milestones,” says Jennifer. “The doctor seemed a little worried, but he didn’t go into detail about his concerns.”