Is your child a messy eater?
Some children are sensitive to different textures in their mouth and on their faces. They may also have poor awareness of their lips, tongue, and other parts of the oral structures. These children often gag on food, are messy eaters, and may develop speech disorders. Speech Pathologists are trained in assessing, diagnosing and treating feeding difficulties. Speech pathologists use their knowledge of behavior, muscles, nerves and processes that need to occur for successful chewing and swallowing. With the right advice, support and equipment your child can be on the way to becoming a better eater.
By helping your child to overcome their feeding difficulties you may achieve:
- Improve the range of healthy foods your child needs to be healthy. They aren’t always avoiding foods because of the taste! Many children learn that they have problems eating certain types of foods and even become averse to trying new foods when they have certain difficulties.
- Increase the joy during meal time – less stress for everyone!
- Reduce the chance of developing speech sound difficulties.
- Determine if myofunctional issues are coming into play.
- Increase development in other areas such as sensory perception, fine motor skills and independence.
Signs of possible feeding issues
Feeding difficulties take many forms but these are some signs:
- Drooling or spilling food from the mouth when eating or drinking.
- Difficulties chewing or moving food around in the mouth.
- Difficulty transitioning from purees, to soft lumps, to foods requiring chewing, or refusal of solids.
- Lengthy or tedious mealtimes.
- Coughing or choking when eating.
- Refusal to eat a wide range of foods.