Feeding Therapyin San Ramon, Livermore and Tracy, California
What is Pediatric Feeding Therapy?
Every parent or caregiver knows that it’s vital for a child to be well-nourished. Their physical and mental growth depend on it. But many children struggle with the simple acts of eating and drinking. Parents may only see the fussiness, tantrums and refusal to eat anything but a few foods. They may be baffled why their child vomits, gags or chokes during meals.
They may not realize that pediatric feeding therapy offers a solution to these feeding problems. With the right solution in place, mealtimes can once again become pleasant experiences. The child can begin to tolerate a variety of foods that provide the nutrition they need to grow up healthy and strong. There’s no more gagging, vomiting or even aspirating (inhaling) food or drink during meals.
Reasons Some Children
Need Feeding Therapy
There are many causes of these feeding problems. The reasons may be apparent or subtle, for example:
- Some children have diagnoses like autism spectrum disorder, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, stroke or sensory processing disorder.
- There may be weaknesses of the neck or mouth that impair a child’s ability to chew or swallow.
- Impaired learning capacity or cognitive delays can also stand in the way of proper feeding.
- Other children simply develop a dislike for tastes, textures, colors, or temperatures.
The first step we take is a careful evaluation of the child’s difficulty when eating. Do some foods make them gag? Or do they lack the mechanical ability to swallow food properly? With these observations, we can create a treatment plan to help them overcome the barriers.
In addition to proven methods of strengthening mouth and jaw muscles, we have a hundred creative ways to help children overcome an aversion to textures and flavors. Introducing new foods might involve painting pictures with syrup or digging in a mound of oatmeal. Feeding a baby doll its lunch helps a young child see the feeding experience from the outside.
Pediatric Feeding Therapy Helps Children, Parents and Families
As we work with children as young as 18 months and as old as 17 years, pediatric feeding therapy can markedly improve mealtime habits and abilities. We always keep our feeding activities fun and pleasurable. We also work with our parents to help them learn successful habits to use at home. Our pediatric therapists collaborate with parents to update them on progress so they can adapt the child’s meals at home to their new skills and tastes.
If you’re ready to schedule a pediatric feeding therapy evaluation for your child in San Ramon or Tracy, call us at (925) 743-3322. Also ask us about our free 15-minute phone consultation to learn how we can help your child and your whole family!