Dinner time is becoming a nightmare.
The dread, exhaustion, frustration, and worry that flood you (and your child) as mealtime approaches has taken its toll on the entire family.
You and your child find yourselves in a constant tug of war. Concern for their health grows each day.
There have been a few victories here and there, but it shouldn’t be this difficult.
I’m here to help.
Step One: Screening
First, we will screen your child for airway problems, including sleep-disordered breathing.
This is often an overlooked issue that can be associated with picky eating. If you have airway challenges, you can’t chew and swallow efficiently or comfortably.
Step Two: Evaluation of Feeding
Second, we will evaluate your child’s oral motor abilities for feeding in detail.
This is another area of skill that is often overlooked in kids who are picky, slow, or messy eaters.
Does your child drool frequently? Your child might have airway challenges or low muscle tone.
What if their teeth hurt? Maybe your child won’t eat raw foods because they’re too hard to bite and chew.
Do they stuff their mouth with food? Perhaps they don’t have great control over their tongue and use bite after bite (overstuffing) to help food go down.
We’ll look at it all.
Step Three: Explore the Sensory System
Third, we’ll have a chat about your child’s sensory system.
Is your child under sensitive to some things like sounds, lights, textures, or tastes? Is your child over sensitive to those or other things?
Sensory preferences and idiosyncrasies, as well as sensory processing disorder, can be common underlying factors for a child’s picky eating.
If we suspect sensory processing disorder, I will refer you to an occupational therapist that can diagnose and treat this disorder. For some picky eaters, occupational therapy can be a vital service that sets the foundation for success while we work together to improve your child’s oral motor, feeding, and speech skills.
Step four: Get to Work
In the meantime, we’ll work together to improve your child’s eating abilities by improving their airway, motor, and sensory systems.
Some level of pickiness will always be present, and this is normal (no cilantro for me, please).
But with patience and perseverance, we will help your child achieve safe and nutritious feeding.
For more information, please call me at (818) 217-0460.