Can a speech therapist determine if my child is a picky or “problem” eater?

During my time as a speech pathologist, I’ve often heard parents say in distress, “I never thought feeding my child would be so difficult.” If you have felt this way, don’t worry you’re normal. This is very common.

If your child is struggling with texture sensitivities, reflux, or something else, eating can be an absolute chore that plagues the family every day for every meal. Also, toddlers that are problem eaters can suffer from lack of full nutrition. Don’t despair; these feeding issues can be addressed through therapy.

Below, I have separated feeding therapy into four main areas complete with a few suggested treatment techniques. The following overview is a broad look at the areas that my feeding therapy would address, but is not a comprehensive treatment plan.

1. FAMILY DYNAMICS: This component focuses on training the family to have healthy and positive mealtime interactions and routines.

2. ORAL MOTOR: This component addresses the numerous hands-on techniques and tools that help increase awareness, strength and mobility for the child’s oral musculature.

3. SENSORY: This component focuses on texture sensitivities and food aversions.

4. BEHAVIOR: This component focuses on issues surrounding avoidance techniques that many children engage in to circumvent mealtime.

Your local Speech Language Pathologist,

Karen George

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