Your child may be more than just fussy

An image of fruit and vegetables displayed like a spider, tree and rainbow

For many households across Australia, mealtimes can feel like battle zones as parents face off fussy eaters—and it can be a normal part of development, that’s soon grown out of.

But there’s a difference between a fussy eater and a problem feeder and the likelihood of problem feeding rises when disability is part of the equation: up to 85% of children with developmental disabilities, for example.

Red flags to act on

Therapy Pro feeding expert Marta Barake, who has responded to mealtime calls for help for years, says the following signs suggest you may be facing more than a young child being assertive and making choices.

What advice involves

Asking for help with a child’s feeding involves initial assessment that will include looking at:

“Eating isn’t the simple two-step process we think of. It’s one of the most complex tasks we engage in, involving all our senses, organs and muscles, and being influenced by environment,” says Marta.

The underlying reason may be physical or behavioural. Your child may benefit from the support of a speech and language therapist (also trained in issues relating to swallowing and eating), or occupational therapist or psychologist—or combination.

While it can take time and lots of small steps to improve chronic problem feeding, a consistent approach and having the expertise of a team of therapists like multi-disciplinary Therapy Pro behind you will help support your child overcome their feed in difficulties and let you all enjoy the positive experience of mealtime.

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