A feeding disorder in infancy or early childhood is a child’s refusal to eat certain food groups, textures, solids or liquids for a period of time. These difficulties often times cause children to not gain enough weight, grow naturally, or have developmental delays. Feeding disorders may be sensory, behavioral or oral-motor based. In addition, most feeding difficulties are caused by a known or unknown medical diagnosis such as food intolerance, allergy or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A child with a feeding disorder may become so severe that they require a gastric or nasogastric tube for nutrition.
Our qualified feeding therapists work as a team with a gastroenterologist (GI) doctor, nutritionist or dietician, pediatrician, and/or psychologist. In addition, these children may be seen by an occupational or physical therapist to address motor concerns that come along with feeding difficulties. Therapyland provides a comprehensive team of professionals to address your children’s feeding difficulties whether it be tube dependency or being a picky eater.
The following are general indicators that a child may benefit from a Feeding Evaluation and treatment:
- preference or refusal of certain textures, food groups, and/or flavors
- nutritional dependence of feeding tube due to difficulty consuming liquids and/or solid foods
- Failure to Thrive diagnosis or difficulty gaining or losing weight (due to food preferences)
- oral motor weakness due to low tone, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, other medical diagnoses
- diagnosis of GERD in infancy that decreased oral feeding
- overstuffing mouth, choking, gagging or vomiting when eating
- increased meal times due to behavioral reactions or chewing stamina
- dysphagia, difficulty swallowing
- anxiety/fear of eating in childhood