Why won't my child eat?
Feeding is the complex interactions between the selection of food, ingestion, and regulation as well as the engagement between the child, caregiver, and environment.
Feeding difficulties tend to result from a multitude of factors: sensory, oral motor, medical, behavioral, social, and environmental.
Due to the complexity of feeding, an advanced occupational or speech-language therapist must examine all components: sensory, oral motor, medical, behavioral, and social/environmental.
Components of Feeding
Feeding is a physical task that requires simultaneous coordination of all sensory systems:
visual, auditory, gustatory, tactile, olfactory, vestibular, kinesthetic and proprioceptive.
Feeding problems are more common in children with developmental delays or disabilities, autism, diabetes, and other conditions.
As children mature, feeding behaviors are increasingly influenced by events, consequences, and social contingencies. Unpleasant feeding events could highly influence the way a child interacts with others and foods.
Feeding is essential to human survival, but it is also a form of social interaction which is influenced by culture, food choices, rituals around meals, and its social meaning
Swallowing is considered one of the most complex physical activities humans engage in because it requires all of the body’s organ systems including muscular and skeletal. Oral Motor skills consist of the structures and functions that allow the process of eating and swallowing.