Did you know…
- Eating is the most complex physical task that human beings engage in.
- Eating is the only human task which requires every one of your organ systems, and requires that all of those systems work correctly.
- Every muscle in the body is involved in eating. One swallow, for example, takes 26 muscles and 6 cranial nerves to coordinate!
- Eating is the only task children do which requires simultaneous coordination of all sensory systems.
It’s really no surprise, then, that for some children eating is anything but easy. Children who were born prematurely or who have reflux issues, for example, often require feeding intervention. Other children simply aren’t eating enough and their parents and pediatricians are concerned about lack of weight gain. All of these children are candidates for our oral/motor feeding program.While the program is highly individualized, the goals of the program are generally the same for each child.
- Create positive food routines/experiences with food. Many children have bad associations with eating, especially those that have had significant medical issues that have affected their ability to eat. Overcoming those associations is essential for success.
- Encourage sensory and oral/motor experiences. In other words, play with your food! For some children, this is the most reliable way for them to learn about food and become interested in having it near their mouths.
- Identifying safe foods for children to eat. For some children, certain foods and liquids are not safe to eat and put them at risk for aspiration or choking. We help parents identify and avoid these foods, while also brainstorming with them about foods their child might be interested in.
Learn more about our feeding therapy program or donate today to help more children receive therapy!