Understanding Feeding Therapy and Why it is Important to Your Child

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The problems that negatively influence a child’s feeding pattern are usually dealt with using feeding therapy procedures. These issues are categorized or put into three main classes. These classes include; behavioral problems or problems that make it difficult for the child to use the important body parts that assist in feeding such as the mouth and the throat. These problems are broadly referred to as the physiological issues as well as the structural issues which are known to affect the willingness as well as the ability of the child to actually eat or feed well.

For a better understanding of these issues, they are explicitly explained below:


Behavioral Issues

Under this category, you may have a situation whereby your child just refuses to eat or only feeds on some specific types of food while ignoring the other-other food types. As much as these issues may appear on their own, in most circumstances, they often stem from a combination of physiological and structural feeding problems. Take, for instance, a child who finds it difficult to eat as a result of not having the important skills required to feed well and in the right way.

Such a child may experience convulsions, also known as gags of the digestive tract or feel like vomiting or both. As a result, the child may all of a sudden begin to refuse food. At such a point, it is advisable that you consult a skilled, knowledgeable and experienced feeding therapist so as to find out the actual cause of this feeding behavior in your child. The diagnosis can go a long way in ensuring the problem can be rectified using feeding therapy.


Physiological Feeding Concerns

The child may also encounter problems when handling their food. Such problems may include the child finding it hard to move food around the mouth, difficulty chewing food the food as well as finding it difficult to swallow food. These problems may begin at an early stage of development of the child where the child finds it difficult to feed on the breasts or the child may also encounter difficulty in taking bottled food.

However, some children may be fine until the time when they are expected to shift to solid foods. Some early indications that the child may have physiological problems include the child finding it difficult to start eating solid foods, constant coughs from the child, vomiting or gagging and in some cases both. There may also be some medical conditions that have not been discovered that may cause these problems. An assessment by a professional feeding therapist can properly analyze your child to get the main cause of the feeding problem. Hop on over to Speak Live Play and learn more about Melissa, who can properly see you and your child through feeding therapy.

feeding therapy

Structural Concerns That Influence Feeding

There are also a variety of structural problems that will negatively influence the way your child feeds. These include a cleft palate, an arched palate, and a short frenulum. So to be able to get food through a bottle, children with cleft palate need to cope with a very specific feeding pattern. In most cases, liquidy foods will stream out of such children’s noses.

This condition is known as nasal regurgitation. Given that in some cases it may be difficult to identify cleft palate at birth, the first notable symptom of a cleft palate will be nasal regurgitation. An example of the cleft that cannot be diagnosed during birth is the submucous cleft. Frenum that is very short, may make it difficult for the child to breastfeed or even feed using a bottle. In addition, they also find it difficult to handle food around the mouth. Chewing the food, therefore, becomes very difficult for the child. At the same time, it is important to note that a short frenulum may not often result in feeding problems.

So as to restore proper feeding habits, feeding therapy may involve two processes. There may be a feeding plan meant to instill good feeding habits or it may involve the restoration of the body parts involved in eating through motor therapy. On the other hand, there can also be oral-motor-therapy meant to give strength to the muscles around the mouth. All these are only possible through a properly qualified feeding therapist. Customer testimonials and reviews on Speak Live Play can help broaden what you already know about feeding therapy.

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