We have been doing feeding therapy for almost a year now. We started in individual and then moved to group therapy.
In group therapy there are about 6 kids and all of them have different food issues, but they ALL need help with food.
Last group I still felt like a failure. All of those kids would eat whatever you gave them (not picky), but some of them weren’t eating enough, or one needed to learn how to eat because they were on a feeding tube for a while, one just didn’t chew – swallowed his food whole and choked. So, I still felt badly. In fact, one day one family brought their grandma and aunt and cousin to watch and the grandma asked me at every single food, “He won’t even eat PIE???” or “He won’t even eat mashed potatoes?” I was kind of pissed about that one. LOL.
We just started our second group and I feel better already. One kid will only eat orange food. One kid is 3 and hasn’t ever eaten because he had a tracheotomy at birth and has been on a feeding tube his whole life and has swallowing difficulty. He drinks water now and is learning to swallow crumbs. He is picky too, because he has never tasted any food until now. There is a set of twins who just stopped eating one day. They had become picky, and then one twin decided to stop eating and his brother followed suit. They both got diagnosed with failure to thrive and got stomach tubes. Then the “lead” brother decided he didn’t need to eat AT ALL because he gets his food in his tube. Of course brother followed. The doctors are afraid they will loose the muscle memory and forget how to eat. I feel badly saying this, but it makes me feel much better that there are picky kids with us now and that my son’s issues aren’t as bad as some out there.
So, what progress have we shown?
1. My son can sit at the table with other foods – even ones with overwhelming smells.
2. My son can stand to have different foods on his plate (a divided plate) with his food.
3. My son can touch, smell, lick, and kiss most foods without having a complete melt down. He can EVEN take an “ant” bite out of most foods with a little prompting and without freaking out.
4. My son has added several foods to his diet, even though I do have to insist he eat some of them.
5. My son has even eaten almost half of a chicken nugget several times. THAT is huge people
6. I have learned to stop listening to the people who tell me what I did wrong and who tell me what I should have done. I have learned to let all that go and focus on what helps my child and I. I have learned frustration doesn’t help and to remember these things aren’t his fault and that I am here to guide him, not make him feel badly about how he is. I have learned we are lucky he eats enough calories to grow. And to be thankful for it.
If you want to learn more, I have written more with in depth examples of what we do.
The first link breaks it down more. The second one was when we started and talks about the first steps we took.