Has Anyone been successful with SI therapy for Oral Defensiveness?
(Orange, CA, USA)
Please help...my 4 1/2 year old son has SPD with severe oral defensiveness and tactile issues. To make a long story short, he has been getting OT/Feeding therapy to try to desensitize his mouth, but after 2 years of this therapy there have been no improvements, mostly regressions. Ever since purées were introduced into his diet, at about 6 months old, he has had a severe oral defensiveness and tactile dysfunction. If you tried to feed him any food with texture that would sit on his tongue and might need to be chewed, he would immediately gag and throw up. He also is a very picky eater, and would only eat 5 different flavors of stage 2 baby food.
So after 2 years of individual OT/Feeding therapy, all that was accomplished was he could touch some dry foods and stick & lick ketchup off his finger. This therapy clinic used the SOS method, which primarily uses tactile playing with food to get them used to touching, and exploring different textures. So, in October of 2011, I switched him to another Therapy Center that only deals with SPD and SI OT therapy.
So, now it has been another year and he will only eat 3 types of smooth pureed foods: (plain luke warm oatmeal, room temperature strawberry yogurt and chocolate pudding). He also refuses to touch and will barely look at food; therefore, he will not feed himself. The SI therapy is all OT gym work, to desensitize his nervous system, without any food therapy. All the food therapy experimentation is for me to do at home and
I'm so burnt out. I don't have the mental strength anymore to keep trying to feed him textured foods. Throughout all this therapy, my son would rather die than eat food, he doesn't care about being hungry and would starve himself if I didn't force him to eat. And so now, I think he has built up a phobia of unknown/textured food and even if his mouth was desensitized, he would still gag just because of the anticipated anxiety. My son is very smart and cunning, and besides the food issues, he also has issues recognizing his bodily functions and he lacks most self help skills, he won't dress himself, and refuses to be potty trained. He is in a regular private educational preschool, 3 times a week for only half days, because he won't eat lunch there on his own. I'm worried about next year when he will start kindergarten full time?
Nothing has worked, what do I do? Do I need to check him into an in-patient hospitalized feeding program? Do I need him to see a child psychologist to help him resolve the phobia? I don't know what else to try? I know there must be someone else out there that knows what I am going through and I really would like to hear from you to find out what therapies worked and what techniques I need to do to help treat him. We live in Orange County, CA, which has a lot of resources and I drive long distances every week to all his therapy sessions to try to help my son. Please help.