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DS is finally in feeding therapy. He started last week (once a week for 1 hour). Today was the second day. And he actually ate *3* new foods! I can't get him to eat new foods for anything and he willingly does it with the OT <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: Today's theme was "sticks". He ate pretzels (which is not a new food), hard breadsticks with seeds on them (new food, he liked those), pirate swords (not sure exactly what that is, she said she got them from Wild Oats so I'm going to go there, new food, he liked them) and whoppers (the candy, not a stick but last weeks was circles and he refused to eat them so she tried again today. He ate and liked those). He also stuck a few other new foods in his mouth (including a meat stick! The boy who eats no meats stuck a meat stick in his mouth!!!) before spitting them out and he touched a few others. Some he still refused to touch.<br><br>
Woo-hoo!!!!<br><br>
Oh, and his ST says she can't believe how much progress he's made in the last year (she's only been seeing him for a few weeks but I was telling her where he was last year at this time). She said most of his issues are just developmental things and they'll come within time. Yay! Yesterday she got him pronouncing the sound "s" right. AND he corrects himself sometimes and will tell himself "teeth together... make snake sound..." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Such a cutie!
 

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It's AMAZING what OTHER PEOPLE can get our kids to do, isn't it? Even my NT kid "performs" better for other adults, that's why I send him off to school...............<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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Wow what a great therapy session! He tried new things, touched new things, allowed new things in his line of sight - yay for progress!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> "Little" things like this are so great to hear about.
 

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Awesome!! I would like to hear more about feeding therapy. My DS refuses all new foods. He has a lot of food allergies and is limited, but there are many food beyond the 10 that he will eat. Is this person an OT?
 

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That's wonderful! It is amazing what therapy can do. When my sister adopted her son (he has dyspraxia and autism) he was 2.5 years old and was still on mush. And not really much variety either - pretty much mashed potatoes and you might be able to sneak some stuff into it. After 2 years of therapy he is now 4.5 and he eats everything in sight! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>annarbor931</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/9855065"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Awesome!! I would like to hear more about feeding therapy. My DS refuses all new foods. He has a lot of food allergies and is limited, but there are many food beyond the 10 that he will eat. Is this person an OT?</div>
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Yes, she's an OT. There's a whole home program you do along with the stuff she does. If you want, I can type it all up later for you. When he goes to his feeding therapy the OT does some stuff to "wake up his body" including jumping, hoping, crawling through tunnels, today was laying on a big wood swing and getting bean bags we tossed on the floor (had to use his hands to propel the swing to the beanbag) then throw the beanbag into a bucket.... stuff like that. Then they go to the kitchen and sit at the table. It's supposed to be Owen, 2 other kids and the OT. But the other 2 kids didn't show up today so it was Owen, the OT and I. Everyone gets a wet wash cloth on the back of their chair and they can use it to wash hands anytime they want. First everyone gets to blow bubbles ("wake up the mouth") while the OT gets everything ready. Then everyone washes their hands in a big bowl of soapy water then everyone puts bubbles on the table to wash the table. Then a big towel ("train") is pushed around the table to dry it. The OT has a dozenish food items in little bowls. Everyone gets a paper plate and napkin. She goes through the food items one at a time. So she'll bring out one little bowl and tell Owen to put one of that item on his plate. I do the same, as does the OT. Then we play. We use pretzels as teeth, mustaches, trains, etc. Anything we can think of. We explain what texture the item is, how it feels, how it tastes, etc. We NEVER EVER EVER force him to do anything with the food. It's all play based. We encourage him to do as much as he's comfortable with (some food items he wouldn't even touch with his fingers, so we encouraged him to put some string cheese "trains" in that food item and push it around). Repeat with all the food items. Last is the juice/drink. Ds is encouraged to blow bubbles (won't do that yet), blow on it to make ripples (won't do it) or put his finger in the liquid to make drips come off his finger (did start to do that today). After he's explored everything he has to pick 3 of the items to put in his mouth and drop it into the garbage. I thought ds would have a hard time with this part, considering he wouldn't put some of the food items near his mouth, but he likes this part of the game. That's how we got the meat stick in his mouth today. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
Anyway, if you want more info I can type it up for you <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">
 

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I have GOT to look into this for DS. I had to stop OT while we went through insurance changes. I am trying to get Medicaid for him, so that I don't have to pay out of pocket. If you have a chance, please give me some info.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's a quick run-down (just happens to be the paper I have in front of me... I'll type more later).<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">***** Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Eating and Swallowing Clinic Home Program</span><br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">DO'S</span></b><br><br>
1. Serve food family style.<br>
2. Make food the focus of the meal, not the child's behaviors.<br>
3. Child helps with food preparation and cleanup or a beginning and ending routine.<br>
4. Child stays in chair until cleanup or ending routine is over.<br>
5. Serve a small meal 4-6 times daily.<br>
6. Meals should last no longer than 30 minutes.<br>
7. Have 3 foods on child's plate at a time (1 each protein, starch and fruit/veggie).<br>
8. Serve one preferred food at every meal and 2 non-preferred.<br>
9. Tell child the 10 times rule several times daily.*<br>
10. Talk positively about the food on the table.<br>
11. Ignore protesting, gagging and choking episodes as much as possible.<br><br><b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">DON'TS</span></b><br><br>
1. Don't punish child at the table- this will increase their adrenalin and decrease their appetite.<br>
2. Don't feed your child when lying down or head is tilted back.<br>
3. Don't allow child to eat the same food prepared the same way every day- offer any one particular food ONLY every other day and try to make VERY small changes to the food each time (serve it in a different bowl, change the shape of it, put some food coloring in it).<br>
4. Don't serve foods in the containers you purchased them in.<br>
5. Don't trick children into eating something. It teaches them to be distrustful.<br>
6. Don't distract them while they are eating- this prevents them from learning to like a food for what it is.<br><br>
*The 10 times rule is "Your body doesn't know if it likes a food or not until you've chewed and swallowed it 10 times. That's right- 10 times! You have to chew and swallow a new food 10 times before your body knows whether you like it or not". DS stares at me (and her) with a blank look on his face whenever we say it, but whatever. She wants us to so we do.
 

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That's awesome!!!<br><br>
My 4 1/2 yo son's SLP does the looking, sniffing, kissing, touching, and then either a small amount on her finger rubbed on his gums or maybe he might take a bite.<br><br>
We'll try it the way you described today at home!<br><br>
Sincerely,<br>
Debra
 

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Thank you!! We recently moved from MI to GA, and I am going to have to look into this. My DS would benefit from this type of intervention. I really appreciate that you took the time to type this out for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
<b><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Steps to Eating</span></b><br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Tolerate</span><br>
-being in the same room<br>
-being at the table with the food on the other side of the table<br>
-being at the table with the food / way across the table<br>
-being at the table with the food approximately in front of the child<br>
-looks at the food when directly in front of the child<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Interacts With</span><br>
-Assists in preparation/set up with food<br>
-Uses utensils or a container to stir or pour food/drink<br>
-Uses utensils or a container to serve self<br>
-Touches with another food<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Smells</span><br>
-Odor in room<br>
-Odor at table<br>
-Odor directly in front of child<br>
-Leans down or picks up to smell<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Touch</span><br>
-Fingertips/Fingerpads<br>
-Whole hand<br>
-Chest, shoulder<br>
-Top of head<br>
-Chin, cheek<br>
-Nose, underneath nose<br>
-Lips<br>
-Teeth<br>
-Tip of tongue, full tongue<br><br><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Taste</span><br>
-Licks lips, tongue licks food<br>
-Bites off piece and spits out immediately<br>
-Bites pieces, holds in mouth for "x" seconds and spits out<br>
-Bites, chews "x" times and spits out<br>
-Chews, partially swallows<br>
Chews, swallows with drink<br>
-Chews and swallows independently<br><br>
Start at the top and work your way down. It takes a LONG time sometimes. If you find you went too far, go back a couple steps and try again.<br><br>
My ds skips the first ones, as he doesn't have any trouble leaving any foods on his plate (as long as they aren't touching the "safe" foods). He usually doesn't have any trouble smelling so we skip right to the touching ones usually (but we've had to back down a few times).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
<span style="text-decoration:underline;">Top Ten Myths of Mealtime in America</span><br><br>
Myth #1- Eating is the body's number 1 priority.<br><br>
Why is it false- Breathing is the body's number 1 priority. Without good oxygenation, eating is resisted because we shut off our airway briefly with every swallow and our oxygen level decreases slightly (or we have to significantly increase our respiratory rate to maintain oxygen such that we are burning off any calories we take in). Postural stability ("not falling on your head") is actually Body priority number 2. Eating is only body priority number 3.<br><br>
Myth #2- Eating is instinctive.<br><br>
Why it is false- Eating is only instinctive for the first month of life. After the first month of life, we have a set of primitive motor reflexes (rocking, sucking, swallowing) which take over and keep us eating while we lay down pathways in the brain for voluntary motor control over eating. Between the end of the 5th and 6th months of life, these primitive motor reflexes drop out and eating is essentially solely a learned motor behavior.<br><br>
Myth #3- Eating is easy.<br><br>
Why is it false- Eating is the MOST complex physical task that human beings engage in. It is the ONLY human task which requires every one of your organ systems, and requires that those systems work correctly. In addition, EVERY muscle in the body is involved (one swallow for example, take 26 muscles and 6 cranial nerves to coordinate). Plus, eating is the ONLY task children do which requires simultaneous coordination of all of our sensory systems.<br><br>
Myth #4- Eating is a two step process; 1- you sit down, 2- you eat.<br><br>
Why it is false- There are actually 32 steps, more or less, in the process of learning to eat.<br><br>
Myth #5- It is not appropriate to touch or play with your food.<br><br>
Why it is false- Wearing your food is part of the normal developmental process of learning to eat it. You can learn a great deal about the foods, BEFORE they ever get into your mouth, by touching them and playing with them first. It is "play with a purpose".<br><br>
Myth #6- If a child is hungry enough, he/she will eat. They will not starve themselves.<br><br>
Why it is false- This is true for about 94-96% of the pediatri population. For the other 4-6% of the pediatric population who have feeding problems, they will "starve" themselves (usually inadvertently however). For the majority of these children, feeding doesn't work and/or hurts, and no amount of hunger is going to overcome that fact. Children are organized simply; if it hurts, don't do it. If it doesn't work; cry and/or run away. For children who have skill or medical problems with eating, their appetite often becomes suppressed over time, such that they no longer respond correctly to appetite as a cue to eat sufficiently.<br><br>
Myth #7- Children only need to eat 3 times a day.<br><br>
Why it is false- In order to meet their daily calorie requirements, children would have to eat adult sized meals if they only eat 3 times a day. Given their small stomachs and attention spans, it takes most children 5-6 meals a day to get in enough calories for proper growth and development.<br><br>
Myth #8- If a child won't eat, there is either a behavioral or an organic problem.<br><br>
Why it is false- Various research studies, and the data from our center, indicate that between 65-95% of all children with feeding problems have a combination of behavioral AND organic problems. If you start with a physical problem with eating, you are going to quickly learn that eating doesn't work/hurts and a set of behaviors to avoid the task will become set into place. If you start with a purely environments/behavioral reason for not eating, your compromised nutritional status will quickly begin to cause organic problems. As such, it is not useful to create a dichotomy in diagnosing or treating feeding problems.<br><br>
Myth #9- Certain foods are only to be eaten at certain times of the day (i.e., Breakfast foods only for breakfast, lunch foods only at lunch, snack foods only at snacks, dinner foods only for dinner), and only certain foods are "healthy for you".<br><br>
Why it is false- Food is just food. It is not breakfast food, or dinner food, or snack food, or junk food. Food it either a protein, a carbohydrate or a fruit/vegetable. While some foods do have more nutritional value than others, labeling foods as "good" or "bad" or "only eaten at X meal", is not helpful in teaching children to eat or to have a healthy relationship with food. If a child eats chicken and peas best at breakfast, that is okay. In addition, the so called "junk" foods actually plat a huge role as stepping stones in teaching children with feeding difficulties to learn to eat a wide variety of other foods because these "bad" foods are typically easy to manage from an oral-motor standpoint, and/or they have a large sensory appeal.<br><br>
Myth #10- Mealtimes are a solemn occasion. Children are to be seen and not heard.<br><br>
Why it is false- Feeding is supposed to be fun. Children eat so much better when their food is engaging, interesting and attractive. They also eat better when mealtime conversations are focused on talking about the food and teaching the "physics" of food. So go ahead, enjoy your food and the feeding experience with your child! Be noisy and play with your food!
 

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Wow Steph, I'm glad he's making such progress!!<br>
I also really appreciate you taking the time to share all that information--thank you!!! (We've got some issues here but no feeding therapy anywhere close so I'm going to try some of this myself). Thank you!
 
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