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#1 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 11:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My son seems to have some difficulty swallowing. He really started not to eat regularly yesterday evening. He will chew up food and then spit some or all of it out. If he eats something, like a gave him a small cookie to see if he would eat it, he seems to need lots of water to get it down. I can see him moving his neck to swallow. He says nothing hurts, well he has but it changes so frequently I don't know if he actually means it. He is chewing fine. He just wants to spit out part of the food after the fact. At first he said his teeth hurt, but they don't seem to be hurting as he is chewing fine and now says they don't hurt. He said his throat does not hurt. It looks normal, no redness or swelling that I can see and I don't feel any swelling in his glands.

I have tried all his favorite foods, and he ultimately wants to spit them out.

I have no idea what this can be and I am trying to decide if I should take him to an urgent care place tomorrow as I am away on vacation. He is acting otherwise normal and he will drink smoothie which I had to make 2 of today. However, he seemed NOT to have any difficulty swallowing the smoothies. He is acting normal in all other ways!
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#2 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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has anything recently happened to cause him to be fearful? Did he have a choking episode, even a minor one that could be influencing his behavior? Even swallowing something the "wrong way" could be traumatic and cause a child to have pause when eating for some time after that.

Of course you should rule out any physiological reason, but I wanted to throw this out there. Perhaps you could initiate a conversation with him to see if there's anything bothering him? Best of luck!
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#3 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 11:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I had wondered if he is afraid of choking. I am always having to manage his eating habits, because sometimes he stuffs his mouth full of food and I tell him he needs to take smaller bites so he doesn't choke. Or he goes wild when he is eating. I think I bring up that subject too often, because I am fearful of it since he had a choking episode when he was much younger which he wouldn't remember.

I think I gave him a particularly hard time about this the other night. I thought this could be an issue that he is fearful, but I was watching him swallow and he seems to be bothered by certain foods and is working to actually swallow, except for the smoothie. He has certain foods that he absolutely loves, which have been a problem today as well.

I don't know if that is it, but he does say he feels like he is going to choke. I really hope i didn't cause this. I don't know if I should take him to the doc to be sure. But I hate going into the doc for us to pick up a nasty bug when we are on vacation, and I am alone with him for the next week until my husband joins us.
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#4 of 11 Old 10-14-2010, 11:37 PM
 
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well, a smoothie is really hard to choke on so I'm not overly suprised that he's willing to try that out. It does seem like perhaps this is what's going on (again, not suggesting you don't go to the doctor.) I don't think you "caused" it in the sense that I doubt it's just your words. I suspect he may have had a minor episode that felt like a close call to him what actually drove the words home.

I think it may be a good reminder to be mindful of the way we use words when we speak to our kids, but try not to take too much of this on. You were watching out for him. Perhaps after today there's another way to accomplish the same thing, but I'd venture to guess that many out there would have done exactly the same. From here on out maybe instead of focusing on the dangers of eating too fast, you can focus on the benefits of eating slowly and consciously. Appeal to his sensibilities and present it in a way that interests him.

Until then do you have ways that you manage stress? I'd probably use star of bethlehem, walnut and mimulus flower essences. If you do EFT that can be helpful too. And, as silly as it sounds positive affirmations can be awesome. If you are concerned that your words were powerful enough to create fear, then they are equally as powerful to create comfort. Again, I don't think you "did this," I'm just offering perspective. IF it's fear based, you have tools. Good luck at the doc's office.
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#5 of 11 Old 10-15-2010, 12:01 PM
 
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He's at the right age to have a strep infection. The first time my son had it, he acted fine, didn't have a fever right away and only said his mouth hurt. But then he would say his mouth didn't hurt anymore so I didn't think much of it until he came down with a 102.5 fever and more difficulty with swallowing. It could be he's fighting off something or he's about to come down with a cold or strep or whatever. It doesn't hurt to have him checked out if you are worried.
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#6 of 11 Old 10-15-2010, 01:43 PM
 
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Food stuffing is often a sign of sensory processing disorder (SPD). My DS has extreme texture aversion and he will often gag and spit out foods he can't tolerate the texture of. He doesn't usually do food stuffing, but I've heard from other mom's of children with SPD who crave the sensory input of stuffing the mouth. It's not uncommon to have both sensory seeking behavior as well as sensory aversion. For more info and further support, come visit the Special Needs forum:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...play.php?f=157

My DS has displayed his sensitivities since early on, but it can manifest later too. His sensitivities also wax and wane, so sometimes it seems worse than others. During illness and episodes of food allergic reactions, it seems to get worse. So it's possible your DS is having a flare up in sensory issues due to impending illness. Or, like the PPs have said, as a result of some problem following food stuffing.

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#7 of 11 Old 10-15-2010, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took him to the doctor today, and he checked out well with no obvious symptoms of illness. He does have obvious allergies that the doc pointed out. So, I am giving him Zyrtec to see if allergies could be part of the problem. Though I doubt it.

It has been 24 hours since he ate solid food, and today I made his favorites. He wasn't able to eat any of it and claimed he couldn't swallow. Actually he ate a small portion of food bar today but still wanted to spit some out.

I can't tell if it is psychological, but since it came on suddenly I kind of feel like it must be something else.

I don't think it is sensory issues, because it came on suddenly and intensely.

I am feeding him super healthy, packed smoothies with nut butter, yogurt, banana, berries and even eggs and spinach. So I know he will be ok nutritionally.

I do see him working to swallow the yogurt I am feeding him now, so I just don't know what to think.

I am just super worried about him.
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#8 of 11 Old 10-15-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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Allergies seriously worsen this kind of behavior in my DS, so I would not be surprised if that could be it. Particularly since he checked out okay at the doctor. I'm not sure if taking an allergy med will help this behavior, even if it is due to an allergy. Allergy meds just suppress some of the symptoms of allergy, but the body is still fighting against whatever it's allergic to, if it's still being exposed. Probably worth a try, though.

Another thing you can try is something like the Wilbarger brushing protocol. If you don't have one of those soft plastic surgical scrub brushes (and what typical person does), you can use a stiff washcloth if you have one. Just try brushing the backs of his hands for a short while, followed by the palms of his hands for a short while. Do one hand first, then the other. Do this just before he eats. You can sing to him while you do this...like the ABC song or wheels on the bus or something. Just one song verse per hand may be enough. This is to desensitize him a bit. Use firm pressure. You don't want it to tickle. Press hard enough while doing it so it seems you are trying to scrub something off his hand, but it should not hurt. Go in only one direction, scrub from the upper hand to the tips of his fingers. Do not scrub up and down. If this brushing truly bothers him, then stop. Also worth a try. Works well for my DS.

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#9 of 11 Old 10-15-2010, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Do you do a dry brushing? What does this do exactly? What does it desensitize them to?

Thanks for the info.
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#10 of 11 Old 10-15-2010, 09:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TonyaW View Post
Do you do a dry brushing? What does this do exactly? What does it desensitize them to?

Thanks for the info.
Yes, the brushing is done dry. My DS has texture sensitivities in both hands and mouth. Somehow the hands and mouth are connected, so if you desensitize the hands, the mouth will follow. If your DS is being extra sensitive in his mouth, then by trying to desensitize the hands, it can help him tolerate textures.

Kim mama to DS 12/2005, Pepper kitty , and 10/03, 1/05;
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#11 of 11 Old 08-16-2014, 08:18 AM
 
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My child has difficulty swallowing

Hi there...I was just reading your blog because I am getting very concerned because my son is experiencing the same thing and I don't know what to do anymore. We've already been to the pediatrician and have just started counseling sessions to help him overcome his fear. I start seeing some improvement, but just when I think he is getting better, he goes right back to the "I can't swallow" it. He has lost some weight, and although his doctor saids he is healthy, it bothers me and him to see him losing weight. How is your child doing???


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