Feeding Therapy: The consult

Make sure you read Feeding Therapy: We are finally ready if you haven’t already. We packed up the lunch bag with foods our son was comfortable with and foods that he wasn’t comfortable with, put on our shoes, and drove to our feeding therapy consult with Autumn.  Our son was excited and I was nervous. I had shown our son pictures of Miss Autumn on the Advanced Institute for Development and Learning Facebook page and when she came into the waiting room I just smiled and said look Miss Autumn is here to talk to us.  Our little man was so excited and eagerly followed her through the therapy areas and into her therapy room.  Her room is equipped with several booster seats for various age children, a table, a tv, and some seats for parents. She turned and smiled at K and asked if he would like to choose some toys to play with while she chatted with us.  He was thrilled to find 4 fascinating cars and happily climbed into the booster seat to play while the adults chatted. After we went through his medical history, birthing history, challenges that we perceived, Autumn worked with K.  Although she was really going through the Beckman Oral Motor evaluation, he thought they were playing games.  High five to Autumn for her creative play!  He showed her how to chew using a Tri-Chew and play hide and seek in his mouth with an Oral Motor Probe.  He was grinning away. Next we pulled out all of the food we brought and he got to have snack time.  She observed his chewing patterns, his behavior, continued to talk with us, and encouraged him to snack.  She noticed that he wasn’t using rotary chewing and was instead primarily using a vertical chewing pattern.  Next time you put something in your mouth try chewing it by just opening and closing your jaw – that is vertical chewing.  He was also showing signs of low muscle tone in his cheeks and lower jaw. If the muscles of the mouth aren’t working well children aren’t inclined to eat the foods that require those muscles because it is too hard.  Now we have a plan – strengthen the muscles, learn some good patterns for eating, and overcome the behavioral anxiety about food. Our kiddo was still enthusiastic and was eager to try the pattern of eating...
read more

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...
read more