Feeding Therapy: We are finally ready


This is the first article in an on-going series of posts about our experiences with feeding therapy.  You may be wondering why I would share this with you.  I think it is important for everyone to know that seeking therapy, of any kind, is not something that should be hidden.  We are so lucky to have these services available to us in the United States and to have wonderful and caring professionals who devote their lives to helping us overcome challenges.  It is with an open heart that I share our story with you.  We have walked a long path to get to this point and I hope our journey will help you be more tolerant of those with challenges, be confident in seeking help when you need it, and understand a little more about feeding therapy.

This past week we had our very first consult with a local Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)/Feeding Therapist.  Yes, you read that correctly.  I am a certified health coach and have a Ph.D. in Psychology and we are going to feeding therapy with our son.  We have known for awhile that something wasn’t “right”, but our independent kiddo was terrified of medical professionals so we patiently waited.

Two months ago he  conquered his fear of medical professionals.  Two weeks ago after screaming about the food placed before him and vomiting when trying a new food we asked him if he wanted to like food and stop being afraid.  You know what he said?  He looked at us tearfully and said the magic words “yes, I want help.” *insert happy dance here…and maybe some tears*  This is the moment we have been waiting for.  Our independent little man was ready for help.  He was so excited and relieved to get help that he got up from the table and got his shoes on.  He said he was ready to go talk to someone who could help – at 7pm on a Sunday night.

Early Monday morning we contacted Autumn, a local SLP/Feeding Therapist who we had heard great things about even though she just moved to town two months ago, and asked how long it would take to get an appointment.  We told Autumn that our son was very excited to get help and we wanted to get in as soon as possible.  She obtained a referral from our pediatrician within two hours and scheduled an appointment for us to come in two days later.

 

Important Note: While it is normal for children to resist trying new foods, the behaviors above (screaming incessantly – not a tantrum, intense anxiety, vomiting, and gagging) are not typical and should not escalate with each passing day.  It is normal for it to take 10-12 presentations of a food before a child will even try the food.  The behaviors described in this introduction, however, are outside the bounds of normal feeding behavior.