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Does My Child Need Feeding Therapy?

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If you have determined that your child is a Problem Feeder, looking for a feeding specialist in your area is a great next step. While there are a lot of strategies and things you can do at home, it is likely that your child has some skill deficits that are interfering with the typical eating development and will require a consult with a professional to address. Because eating is such a complex task, there are lots of areas for things to go wrong, and a professional can help to make sure these areas are addressed and strengthened to support your child and family.

Red Flags that your child would benefit from feeding therapy include:

What Types of Therapy Approaches Are Out There?

There are a wide variety of different therapy approaches available to parents and caregivers. What is important to understand is what is the philosophy behind the approach that you choose. All available feeding therapies fall within one of two philosophical camps; Systematic Desensitization or Flooding. Here is a quick summary of the differences between the two philosophies:

Systematic Desensitization:

The best example of systematic desensitization would be if you were teaching a child to swim, and you allowed them to first play next to the pool for a while, and then put their feet in the pool when they are comfortable. Next, they would slowly walk into the shallow end of the pool and play there until comfortable. They would then put their face in the water while holding the side of the pool and happily kick their feet. Gradually, they would be ready to let go and learn swimming strokes.




Continuing with our example of different philosophies for teaching children how to swim, in a flooding approach, the child will be taken to the deep end and thrown in the pool. They are assumed to have the natural ability to get to the side of the pool. What method the child uses to get to the side of the pool is not initially important.




If mealtimes are a constant battle in your home, finding a skilled feeding therapist in your community can make a huge difference. We hope this information is helpful as you consider your choices.

You can check our list of feeding therapist who has been trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding program near you.

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