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Why does mealtime and feeding continue to be a problem for my child?

The development of the face and the mouth changes significantly throughout the first three years of life.  The development of the mouth can have a direct impact on overall feeding development.  A child that continues to have a feeding problem over time is likely seeing a disruption in oral development which is preventing them from progressing beyond a set of skills needed.  Oral motor skills are developed in a sequential order where the skills get harder as they get older.  If you are finding that your child is “stuck” it is likely because they can’t move beyond a skill set.

An evaluation with a knowledgeable provider will hopefully provide you some insight as to what is causing the child to plateau with their skills.  There may be a concern with oral structures such as Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs), craniofacial differences (or a history of differences) such as cleft lip, palate, or micrognathia.  You may find that there are food sensitivities or allergies that have yet to be identified.  Further, the child may have deficits with muscle tone and movement of the orofacial complex.  

If your little one is seeming to be “stuck” with mealtime it may be time to have a consultation or a complete evaluation to find answers and start to create a plan of care.

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