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What Are Feeding Delays?

May 21st, 2024 | by Kaitlin Love

Kaitlin Love

May 21st, 2024

What Are Feeding Delays?

Feeding delays are when a child has trouble eating or drinking in the usual way for their age. This can show up in different ways, like taking a long time to finish a meal, refusing certain foods, or having trouble swallowing without choking or gagging.

What Causes Feeding Delays?

There may be many reasons for feeding difficulties, including sensory processing deficits associated with diagnoses such as sensory processing disorder and autism spectrum disorder, or motor deficits associated with neurological diagnoses such as cerebral palsy or stroke.

What Are Some Characteristics of Children With Feeding Delays?

  • Avoiding certain foods or refusing to eat altogether
  • Gagging
  • Slow weight gain
  • Slow or longer than usual mealtimes
  • Discomfort/upset during mealtimes
  • Coughing, choking, throat clearing or other difficulties swallowing

What Are Some Treatment Options for Feeding Delays?

Feeding therapy can be implemented by an occupational or speech therapist. Dependent on your child’s underlying issues, whether they be sensory, motor, or a combination of both, your therapist will devise a sensory-motor approach for working on addressing the underlying barriers to your child’s ability to eat an age-appropriate meal.

About the Author

Ever since Kaitlin was young, she always knew she wanted to help people. After finding her way into speech pathology, she became truly passionate about supporting those with communication and swallowing needs. In her spare time, Kaitlin is constantly trying out new hobbies and spending time with her family, friends, and two dogs! 

About NAPA Centre

In this blog, we discuss causes, characteristics, therapy and treatment options for Down syndrome.At NAPA Centre, we take an individualised approach to therapy because we understand that each child is unique with very specific needs. We embrace differences with an understanding that individualised programs work better. For this reason, no two therapeutic programs are alike. If your child needs our services, we will work closely with you to select the best therapies for them, creating a customised program specific to your child’s needs and your family’s goals. Let your child’s journey begin today by contacting us to learn more.

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