Is it possible for a child to not be able to chew?

by Suzanne
(Australia)

Hi


My 3 year old daughter has verbal apraxia (though with ProEfa fish oil she is talking clearly in 3 words or more sentences) and a hypersensitive gag reflex with a seemingly inability to chew. She only eats mashed foods and yogurt.

The meals have to be given to her in a high chair with some form of distraction such as the TV or crafts. As soon as she is aware that I am spoon feeding her she says "yucky don't like it" however when I quickly up the distraction she happily opens her mouth to eat. She won't feed herself the mashed meals or yogurt as she doesn't like food touching her skin or clothes.

My daughter doesn't have any other sensitivities really, she doesn't mind tooth brushing. She just hates food and has never chewed. I have never seen chewing motion. Her speech therapist says she will eventually chew as she has never seen a child not chew. However, I can't see it happening and will probably have to feed her until she is old enough to will herself to do it herself. I don't even mind the mashed food eating as everything can be mashed, she is good at swallowing smooth foods. It's just the avoidance and fear of feeding herself that is the problem.

Is it possible to physically not have the motor oral skills to chew? Can a person not be wired up properly to be able to chew? The speech pathologist says she has never seen it.

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Jun 17, 2016
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18 year old son cannot chew
by: Anonymous

I have read through all the comments above and I have an 18 year old who cannot chew. My son was diagnosed with Worster drought syndrome at two years old. In short he will never be able to chew or speak clearly as it is a sub form of cerebral palsy affecting the bulbar muscles in the mouth ( bulbar palsy). He was also diagnosed with bilateral vocal cord palsy at the age of 15 ( possibly missed by gt ormond st hospital who tested this when he was 2 but under GA and this test has now proved unreliable.

I would like to say that the speech therapist in an earlier comment on here who said 'I have never met anybody over the age of 10 who cannot chew, has obviously not had good training as this syndrome is certainly not that rare. Equally I do not want to worry anybody here as it was evident from birth that my son had major problems and was tube fed for the first year of life.

He has always had an adult diet, just mashed & is 5'11 and weighs 11 stone. Not conventional but he has survived and eats everything- just mashed or cut into teeny weeny pieces. He walks, runs, rides a bike, has normal understanding but was a little later learning most things. But hey he is happy, with a great sense of humour - oh and is learning to drive - take heart! All is not lost - they do survive without chewing!

May 24, 2016
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No chewing ability
by: Grahame liddle

My daughter is 3 and cannot chew food yet and I can only feed her moist food mashed with a fork sometimes the food collects in her chest cavity and she sometimes brings it all up...she actually eats more food than my son who is 4....Both children have severe development delay but my son isn't as bad as my daughter.

The mother sadly drank alot during both pregnancy's...because of her non ability to chew her bottom jaw seems like it's not fused together properly as it can clunk if I touch her chin and push upwards slightly.currently being seen my all the experts but atm it seems like it's going to be a while before she can chew..she has been rushed to hospital recently because she choked and her lips were going blue so I have to do the obvious thing and wrack her on the back and seek medical attention..very worrying condition that I've never seen before in any of my children....maybe alcohol is the cause of this!!!!!!!

Apr 20, 2016
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Things worth a try...
by: Anonymous

...my baby is 2 and doesn't chew. HOWEVER, aside from dicing items that are a choke hazard we don't puree/blend. Working with an OT has taught us to offer small amounts on a table at a time to allow him to hand feed himself. Alternating with offering to feed him by hand but putting foods in the cheek pocket (between the teeth--buccal surface) and the actual cheek...in the pocket...it helps encourage a chew action. Also, offering items whole can help encourage a 'bite' response...either that or they may just learn to suck it until it dissolves. I don't have any answers but these solutions have helped. Don't stress and don't let your child see you sweat...as toddlers it may become a power thing for them to refuse your wishes. Also, my child who is 13 had appetite issues and to gain weight the pediatrician suggested putting butter into anything I could. It worked. He is now almost 6 feet and 150lbs. Eventually they'll eat...and I'm hoping eventually chew with my smaller one. Good luck everyone.

Mar 12, 2016
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Grandson is legally blind and doesn't chew
by: Renee

My grandson is legally blind and is 3 1/2 years old has no desire to chew. He can't talk, but babbles and can hum any tune he has heard a few times. He has texture issues and can't see us to know how to chew. However, we have found that not only will he eat mashed potatoes (his favorite), yogurt and applesauce, he will eat blended food that adults eat. To put the weight on him I found the microwaveable Hormel meals blended up does the trick. He loves them. They have many varieties and quite a few you can mix with mashed potatoes. I'm hoping with some of the suggestions on this page, I can try to get my grandson to chew, so I thought I would share as well. Good luck to you all. I know its tough, but hang in there and keep thinking and trying.

Sep 30, 2015
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second comment
by: lizette lamprecht

My second comment. Our son is two years old now still doesnt chew. We just heard that he has autism.

Sep 30, 2015
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child doesn't chew
by: vanessa

Hi everyone my Lil one just turn 3 and doesn't chew either she gags n vomits she eats banana strawberry n little bit of cheerios I blend them together that's breakfast lunch I make her rice with beans smash she will eat that n yogurt n also I cook chicken soup with veggies n blended them or ground turkey with veggies to she eats them blended n also beans with egg smash but she's small she weights 25 pounds anyone has any recipes for sash or blend thanks I need for her to gain weight

May 31, 2015
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not chewing
by: lizette lamprecht

Our foster child of almost two has the same. I gave him a dummy to suck on and it clearly are helping to start developing the sucking motion as they need that first to learn to chew. He is now biting his bottles teats with his back teeth since I gave him a dummy. He is noticing now he actually have other teeth and im sure it wont be years for him to actually starts chewing.

May 30, 2015
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Experiencing Similar
by: Alicia

Hi.. My son is just 16 months and he is my youngest of 4 children. I have never even heard of this untill now that my baby is experiencing this. At around 12 months wen I knew he wud be ready for older food he sacred as if he was chocking to death every time I tried to give him a bite! He just won't chew only swollow. He now has a full set of teeth and shud be very capable of chewing food but I too have not once ever even seen him make a chewing notion, like he just doesn't know how!!He is over weight tho from drinking so much milk and he still is on stage 3 baby foods. But I try and simply can't get him to eat anything else. Even the oatmeal in the Gerber toddlers is too lumpy and the oats u actually have to chew a tiny bit before u swallow, which shud be no big deal for any 1 and a half year old, but son gags and chokes if I put it in his mouth. I am worried some wat only because I didn't know this was an actual condition.. But it's good to know my son is not the only one and that he will be OK..

Apr 26, 2015
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They will learn! Just be patient!
by: Lily

Don't feel like you're the only one. My son is 4 years old and he started chewing a couple of months ago.

After visited lots of doctors and specialist and after lots of crying and frustration, finally everything is ok. Thank God!

He suddenly started to feel interest in trying different textures and he's now eating everything! And what changed? Well, I decided to forget about the obsession and just wait until he's ready. And I think that changed him.

Don't make her/him that they are weird, don't show your frustration; just keep putting options (different foods) in front of him and let him try, without showing too much interest.

After he starts putting solids in his mouth, show him how to play with the food side by side on his mouth and play with him while he's eating. Make it fun! And finally, put the solids straight on the molars and let him chew. These are the things that worked with my son.

I hope it helps!

Mar 11, 2015
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same problem
by: rs

Wow I thought I was the only mom in this entire world whose 5 years is not chewing properly. My son never chewed until 3 Years old. Then after 3 I got too much worried and start to talk to him and show his videos all related to chewing. I gave him the sense by putting my own finger on his teeth and pressed it and just tried by my own layman idea to give him that sense. Finally he chew his fav. Food like pizza and fries very nicely but when it comes.to some crispy fruits like apple and all he still gags. And if even by mistake he see veges and their fibre in his dinner plate he vomits.

Mar 11, 2015
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Chewing
by: Anonymous

Hi my son will be two in July, he also doesn't chew, keep food or medicine or even liquids in his mouth and then swallow little by little. He choked since day one on food and makes himself vomit. He also doesn't speak but a few words. He calls everything and anything DAT!

Feb 26, 2015
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my son dosent chew
by: lindy

hi my son has downs syndrome his 15 and has never chewed we stuck in a rut with no help at all on a limited diet swallows everything he eats

Jan 10, 2015
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Elaborate the "ProEfa fish oil" experience... Please!
by: Sam

What is this "ProEfa fish oil" thing that you mentioned earlier in the post? I believe my 2 year old son may be having verbal apraxia too... And would be happy to try fish oil in any form that you have tried, so that he may start speaking. He is not speaking anything as of yet.

Dec 20, 2014
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Update on my son--- I commented about 2 yrs ago with no luck on chewing
by: Anonymous

Hi. Hang in there moms! My son is now almost 5 and he has started chewing. Mainly with his front teeth only. He does bite things that are soft, not many things because he is very picky. He does have sensory processing disorder. We got the diagnosis from his neurologist about 6 months ago. He mainly drinks milk and from a bottle. We HAVE to wean him off of it. It's not going to be easy. My son has been getting help with HELP ME GROW services since he was 6 months old. He also has an IEP through our school system for OT, PT and Speech. So they work with him in preschool too. We still have a ways to go but he is always making progress even if slow.
So just keep at it moms. Get extra help if you can.
I will update again in near future.

Dec 20, 2014
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2.5 year old son doesn't chew food
by: Anonymous

It's honestly a relief to read other stories like my son. I am a sensory eater myself, but my son it a hundred times worse. He has never chew food. The most textured food he will eat is very soft spaghetti noodles with lots of sauce. He doesn't chew just swallows. He loves tomato based stuff. Otherwise he drinks lots if bottles if milk because he won't use a cup with a lid. That's where he gets most of his nutrition. He will bite things then spit them out. He eats mainly pouch food, mashed banana, mashed potatoes, cream based soup, yogert and pudding. He also doesn't not talk a lot. He babbles a lot. He has said a full sentence before three different times but very rarely. It's hard to figure him out. We have seen many therapist and nit much progress.

Dec 12, 2014
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28, never chewed
by: Anonymous

Other developmental disabilities, has never chewed. I want other parents not to lose hope, or patience. Soft foods are not "slop." A perfectly good, nutritious diet can be derived from soft foods. It can be tasty, too. It isn't perfectly ideal, but it can be a close second. Mashed avocados, mashed bananas, mashed canned fruit, mashed cooked pasta, ground or finely cut fish (carefully remove all bones), or finely cut meats, oatmeal, applesauce, mashed cooked vegetables, blended fresh salad (put it in a blender), smoothies, milk shakes, ice cream, soups, juices, milk, yogurt, and so forth are all good, and all soft. Remember to include either broth, or sauce, or something like applesauce or yogurt, or sour cream, to the main course, to make it more palatable.

Do not ever give anything hard and dry, like french fries, potato chips, and so forth, that require chewing. Do try to get occupational therapy for your child, especially when young, and see if that helps. Do see if your doctor can help, but if they are inexperienced, or don't know how to help you, don't give up. Keep searching, and most of all, don't fret. Your child is wonderful, regardless. Love, and enjoy your child, and give them all the love, just as they are. Do what you can for them, but drop your expectations.

Everyone is different. We all have our special gifts. Not everyone develops the same, or is the same, and that's okay.

Dec 07, 2014
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2.5 yr old not chewing
by: My boy will chew one day

My son is 2.5 yrs old. He doesnt chew his food. He chokes even on oatmeal. i am trying to teach him how to chew. he often chokeson his table food and throws up. that how i found he wasnt chewing his food came up whole, even a whole spaghetti noodle. It is very scary and stressful. Now I only feed him mostly soft foods.I ve been trying methods from my work as n ABA Therapuetic Staff aide with no succcess. What is the best way get him to start to learn?

Oct 18, 2014
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May be improve
by: Sims

My son going to 5yrs this Jan 15, still doesn't know how to chew food, hold smashed food in mouth for long time and swallow, eat small pieces of fruits like apple, carrot with his front teeth.
He is a very active boy otherwise with average weight.

some one can share how it will improve.


Oct 14, 2014
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Hope this will help chewing problem
by: Nkkm

My son is three years and two months now, he wasn't chew any kind of foods, he was eating blended food and he also didn't like to touch the food.
I know sound is creepy but trust me, it'll work. Six months ago I started to do my own strategy to deal with his eating habit.

The best time to try, when your child is crying. I use a veggy stick, hold with your thumb and pointer (as enough as your kid can bite otherwise he/she will chock). Place the veggy stick on your child mouth in between the teeth, hold the top of the head with your left hand and push your child chin with your lower pulm while you are holding the veggy stick until you hear he/she bite on it. Make sure to do it slowly so your kid won't bite his own tongue, do it again and again.
When your child knows how to bite, practice doing that in his meal with the food that your child usually eats. So one spoon his food and let him swallow first then let him bite the veggy stick, do it until it's no more food. Practice every day until you see some improvement, then slowly you can practice with a small peace of beef or chicken.

It took almost two weeks for my son to independenly chew the food. He was doing it with tears and hard work but it's really "WORTH". I'm glad he finnaly on his own when about the foods.

Please pardon my English, I'm still learning.

Aug 20, 2014
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2 and a half year/Oral Motor Delay???
by: Katie

My son is 2 and a half and has never put anything in his mouth. It is my understanding that around 6 months babies naturally put everything in their mouth and my son never had interest. He was exclusively breast-fed up until a year old and during that time, I did try some purees but he refused. Acted as if I was trying to put poison in his mouth. I tried many times later and he refused. I say refused, but I mean he was screaming like he was scared. So I wasn't go to force it and create a life-long aversion. When he was nearly 2 he finally started allowing yogurt and then oatmeal.

Nowadays he eats yogurt, oatmeal, grits, veggies mixed in so he can't choke, mashed potatoes, rice, quinoa…things he can safely swallow because he hasn't tried to chew since day 1. I hate that he has to swallow his food, it's bad for digestion. One day I gave him chopped up mac n cheese and he was moaning on the floor for an hour with gas pains, which was probably caused from his body trying to digest the unchewed pasta. It's so frustrating.

I have never been raised around babies and I was clueless when I had him with the realization that babies will tell you in their way what they want and like. They will show you when they are hungry. They will reach for your food etc etc. He rarely even shows us when he is hungry. At one sitter's house, she would barely feed him because she couldn't grasp the idea that even though he doesn't tell you he is hungry, you have to feed him.

I really would like to avoid going to specialists because of the cost that I cannot afford but I will if the problem persists. Email me if you have advice or similar circumstances: txkatietx@aol.com

Jul 17, 2014
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look at nutrition in addition to chewing
by: Anonymous

I am interested in the fact that no one mentioned nutrition when they were posting. If a child has low iron (anemia) it can cause a reduced appetite and difficulty swallowing - that is the first point.

Second, my daughter was not chewing and meal times were taking forever. As a result we were not eating together as a family - so no modeling appropriate chewing - or varied food choices, and I was entertaining her every meal with books. As a result she never knew what she was eating - or took responsibility for putting food in her mouth.

I am in the throws of the victory battle - my approach was:

1. Make sure she had enough Iron and vitamin C. Beef is a great source - who cares if you are mashing it. This verifies that the child is hungry. Learn the signs of anemia in your child because there is no way to work on feeding if the child is not hungry.

2. Remove the distractions from the table. Do your best to present the family meal to the child - creates curiosity and a sense of normalcy.

3. Leave food on coffee tables that requires chewing - such as goldfish etc. This allows the child to explore on their own without the stress of mealtimes. Also - expose your child to other children eating their snacks - this promotes exploration.

4. If a child is not chewing by a certain point - you may need to wait until the child is old enough to reason and understand. I am "winning the battle" with my daughter who is almost 4 by telling her to get the food down from the top of her mouth and chew. (Yes I even had her watch herself in a mirror!)

5. Certain foods are glue - such as bread etc. I have found that if my daughter is eating them - if I over fill her mouth a bit it fills the upper part of her mouth and creates a situation where she has to chew.

Please note no doctor gave us any reason why my daughter didn't chew!

Jul 10, 2014
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My toddler has the same problem
by: Nada

Hi everyone

I can't believe that many kids around the world experience the same dilemma that I face with my toddler, he is 29 month old and never chew, literally never try to chew he does not know how to do it. I am at my wits end. So frustrated he is hungry all the time and would like to mimic his brothers and peers in chewing but can not. No pediatric have me a good advice they all blaming me that I might not introducing him finger food but that is not true. I am desperately need a help please any kind of help who should I seek for help ? I need to know

Jul 02, 2014
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Frustrated and loosing hope here....
by: Anonymous

My son is almost 5 and doesn't chew at all. His meals are pedisure 1.5 and blended up meals that have to be smooth liquid form so he doesn't gag and throw up. I've been working with my son for years to get him to chew and the doctors just act like it's no big deal!!! Well it's a very big deal to me!! Just frustrated with all the OTs out there that say oh they will eventually chew don't worry.. My son is almost 5 and weights 30lbs!! They won't send him to a specialist and me honestly I feel my son should of been given the Gtube surgery at 10 months!! How long do I have to keep my son on this slop diet? I hate it beyond belief, I want to see my son chew and enjoy food not fear it! It's beyond heartbreaking and tears a parent down completely.

Jun 17, 2014
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there is a hope for chewing problem
by: Anonymous

Hi,

Just wanted to share my experience, I have a 3 years and 10 months old boy who never chewed food in the past. He is otherwise a very active boy. I was very much worried about it all the time. I never send him to childcare in a fear that he might choke fruits like carrot, apples etc. I also never went to see any health specialist thinking that its only a behavioural problem not anything else. So, I have been teaching him to chew food by eating lunch, dinner together with him and showing him how to chew. Some time I also used to show him youtube videos of kids chewing food. He didn't want to listen to me before but since last few weeks he decided to listen to me and started to chew his food slowly. We are very proud of him now. My suggestion is just keep trying and wait. Its just a matter of time and every kid will learn eventually. I also haven't seen any kids not chewing food.

Jun 17, 2014
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Any sucessful story
by: Anonymous

Any sucessful story ???? please help..

Jan 21, 2014
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there is help
by: Cindy- OT

For parents with kids who don't chew- please check out this website:
http://www.new-vis.com/fym/papers/p-feed18.htm
There is help.

Dec 31, 2013
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You just described my daughter
by: Jessica

You just described my daughter to a T. Have you had any luck and is there anyone that can help.

Thanks a desperate mom.

Dec 06, 2013
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strategies
by: MS CCC SLP

Strategies for food intolerance used in feeding therapy

-food chaining
-playing with food, getting messy, play with food in the bathtub
-reward, take a bite, get a reward, google ABA therapy
-gum massage will help desensitize, especially if your child is gagging. google Debra Beckman
-rule out food allergies by trial and error or getting allergy tested
-distractions
-To get you child to learn to chew, put pressure on the lower molars 1 per second. Does this 3-5 times a day

Progress is so slow, count the small steps, progress can be like a roller coaster. Your demeanor makes a big difference, don't show your frustration !


Nov 25, 2013
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My apraxic son can't chew
by: Anonymous

My son, who just turned 5, has oral apraxia as well and while his speech is much better now he has not been able to chew food from day 1. This is a symptom associated with Apraxia and we see a trained speech pathologist here in Canada who specializes in pediatric eating disorders. Same thing, my son can only eat mashed/pureed smoothies, soups...I've gotten very good at figuring out recipes! He cannot figure out once food gets onto his tongue how he is supposed to get it to his back teeth and then chew and then swallow. It is definitely the Apraxia. It is a long road and your daughter needs to see someone that specializes in this.

Nov 14, 2013
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my 4 and half years not chewing and proper speach
by: Jasper

my boy was growing properly until when he become ill by get into breathing difficult, thanks god we save him.since that he delay avery thing, walking he crow for long time, delay speach untill now, not chewing food, not play with his fellow. please help me. I am from Tanzania Dar es salaam. E-mail kawichejasper@gmail.com

Nov 11, 2013
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chewing- will need feeding therapy
by: Anonymous

My son has feeding/chewing issues and doesn't know how to chew. I have him in occupational therapy for feeding and the therapist are helping him learn how to chew. You should take him to therapy. it will take few years but I have seen the progress.

Oct 12, 2013
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Can't chew food
by: Anonymous

My 3 and a half year old son also doesn't chew his food. His rest of the development is fine but its just that doesn't know how to chew. We have been trying to teach him in so many ways but he is not interested to learn at all. Any suggestions will be really appriciated as we are extremly worried about it.

Oct 11, 2013
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4 and half years only eats puree foods
by: rachel

I know it's a long time that you have post this question,please let me know how did you solve this problem and what is the result? can your child chew now? ,I really need your help and your experiences as I am havig exactly the same problem with my 4 and half years old son,he has never chewed and only eats puree food. my email is n67151@yahoo.com

Sep 10, 2013
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a a no chew!
by: Worried mom

Thank god I'm not alone, my child was born at 6months premature, now 31months nd do not chew, we tried teaching her but we fail at dat, we now want to consult a therapist probably speech therapist. Every time we encourage chewing she reply "a a no chew". I'm very worried.

When she was teething she didn't chew on things not even de rubber toys made for teething nothing!!!

Aug 21, 2013
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Help
by: Anonymous

My son is 2 Years sold. He cant chew. I havw to give him mashed soked food all the time. I have consulted Oral motor stimulation specialist at Thane ( Mumbai). They have given him special teather. Only way is tomn execerise thats all. No medicine is available. Still No recovery BUR at least I know the way to improve.

Jun 15, 2013
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A 10 year old boy who can't chew
by: concerned

I have just been away with a class of 10-11 year olds and noticed at meal times that one of them was unable to chew. It took 0ver 1 hour to eat 1 slice of toast and when I spoke to them it was still in their mouth later. The same with an apple which took at least 2 hours to eat, I was amazed and was animated at every meal time. I know at school they only eat tinned spaghetti or a slice of bread and butter with the crusts cut off. the food stays between their bottom lip and their teeth. Can you give any information on this as I have never experienced anything like this in the last 12 years at our school

Apr 25, 2013
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child hving 2yrs
by: Soumya

Hi my name is soumya vankudre my child is around 2yrs she is not able to eat rice. she wants it by mixture , so what is the option for that? also she doesn't want to out anything over it. what do we do for this? which particular fruits I should give my child daily since it is summer?

Mar 21, 2013
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Please help!! No one seems to know why my son doesn' t know how to chew!!
by: Anonymous

Hi . I have a 3 year old son that has never chewed food. He never mouthed toys or put his fingers or anything in his mouth. He was bottle fed and that was the only thing he would put to his mouth. He was not a normal baby when teething.. he would never put anything near his mouth. He was slow to walk and talk too.

Every doctor I have seen or I talk to says he doesn't want to chew? I say NO he literally does NOT know how to chew! We have showed him over and over again and he has regular foods put in front of him and he just licks it now or just tries to swallow it WHOLE which is very dangerous. My son has been diagnosed as developmentally delayed that is the only diagnosis we have gotten.
He receives help through the system and has come a long way with everything else but nowhere with the chewing. He has seen a genetics doctor, neurologist, ENT doctors etc.. no one knows. I feel bad for him because he wants to eat regular food but just can't. There is a disconnect somewhere with his brain that we all have telling him he needs to chew food before swallowing. He doesn't have that. How can this be fixed? Anyone else in this situation? I don't know anyone else who has ever been like this.
Please email me at beck0708@aim.com

Thank you for listening.

Feb 10, 2013
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food 3
by: Anonymous

i reckon to be honest on the same not i reckon i would cry if i met this girl seeing her with the odd pain going through school with this same issue i would just cry for the sake i have found 1 person like me its undescribable this feeling but for some reason no one knows what page there on with you guys as well as me been in the same boat & done that and come out with nothing... uno even royal adelaide womens and childrens hospital told me to chew on a rubber tube THATS ALL THEY COULD COME UP WITH, idiots not knowing what there dealing with, lol but yea i am completley spun out by all this

Feb 10, 2013
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YES there is HOPE
by: Olivia

My little boy is 2 1/2 years old now and he just started chewing real solid food about 3 months ago. It took about a year to teach him at home. Feeding therapy was a waste of time. Initially I started breaking potato chips into small pieces, from there he slowly started to bite and chew a chip on his own. I bought a lot of sensory toys for him to chew on and to strengthen his motor muscles, one web that is good is arktherapeutic.com. I literally just kept trying new textures everyday, yes I wasted $ and threw away food but it was all worth it. Every time we went to the supermarket, I would open a new bag of cookies, pretzels, chips anything just so he chews and swallows. The key is is keep him constantly chewing and introducing him to a variety of textures. He would chew and swallow some things and chew and spit out a lot as well. I massage his cheeks and face every night and tell him its a facial, at first he did not like me touching his face but now he looks forward. Massage helps to desensitize him. Just don't give up, he was eating only stage 2 foods until recently. I started to feed him stage 2 food with like french fries cut into small pieces on the side and just one day he started to chew and refused his mush food from blender. It's still not easy to feed him because he chews really slow but I don't have to put anything in the blender anymore. So start with small chips cut into pieces, use motor oral toys during meals and also during play time, try different textures all the time and be patient.

Feb 10, 2013
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food 2
by: Anonymous

& i do hope this posts i am the one that cant chew for 24yrs you dont have to allow this post but just saying that its importance to what i have said i am not telling lies here in truth i dont believe in god because this condition bad things happen to good people & in saying that i obviously live in australia too.

Feb 10, 2013
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FOOD
by: Anonymous

ME I AM 24YRS OF AGE AND I HAVE NOT EATTEN SOLID FOODS AT ALL (NEVER EVER) AND LIVED OFF MILO FOR THE 24 YEARS OF MY LIFE I HAVE NOT EATEN A STAKE THATS BAD BUT UNFORTUNATLY FOR ME I'VE GROWN WITH THIS (UNKNOWN) CONDITION, i was born 1 ana half months premmature and cut open as my osophigus was NOT joined to my stomach and i have another scar on my back on the left under shoulder blade cant remember what it was for and my mum took me everywhere for a solution no cure my storey isn't a success but it sure is well wierd that i just can not believe there was anyone like me i cant even get a dissabillity because how do you prove you cant chew, impossible right, i guess it is but all i can say is i thought i was the only one after 24yrs i feel as the easyest way to explain my situation is how do you teach someone to chew you cant that should know already but no not me and still aint learning anything new on that subject lol but i am alive and well born in sydney bankstown but i only got worse before i got better when i was born they gave me steroids to breath and everything in other words i was suppose to be dead i was a fighter but now i am left with a liquid diet but would not change my life in any other way, what i say to people is... if they didnt know anything diffrent and you were on a liquid diet for say 24yrs of your life would you decide to even try food i say no coz i am happy the way i am and no ones going to shuv food down my throut and i am staying the way i am and i cant change it, so before you think there is something wrong and freaking dietians saying that there not gunna live a forfilling life well there wrong take it from someone thats lived 21 years longer and ill garantee theres always a way to survive this strange no name condition.

Feb 10, 2013
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me
by: Anonymous

OKAY HERES SOMETHING SCAREY I'VE LIVED LIKE THIS FOR 24 YRS AT BIRTH BORN 1 ANA HALF MONTHS PREMATURE BIRTH AND NO KIDDING THIS IS SPINNING ME OUT BUT YEA I DONT CHEW FOOD LIVED OFF MILO ALL MY LIFE, I CAN NOT BELIEVE LITERALLY CAN NOT BELIEVE THERE IS SOMEONE THE SAME AS ME I DONT EVEN HAVE A DISABILITY PENSION AS (HOW DO I PROVE I CAN NOT CHEW FOOD) I CANT AN SO I AM STUFFED LOOKING FOR WORK ON A DAILY BASIS, USING SUGAR AS MY ONLY SUBSTANCE TO HAVE ENERGY IN MY BLOOD

Jan 26, 2013
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Please share success stories and solutions
by: Anonymous

I wish people would come back and share the techniques that had worked for their kids who do not chew the food? I am looking for people to share teir success stories. Is anyone out there?

Dec 04, 2012
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Update
by: Jennifer

Its been quite some time since I came here. My daughter is now 4 years old. She's gone through therapy without any improvement. The reward system technique was beyond her comprehension, the therapists made her nervous, and it was too much stimulation for her, so all she would do is meltdown during the sessions. She's been diagnosed with dyspraxia and is currently going through an evaluation for SPD.

What progress she has made has been from new techniques I have tried at home. It takes a lot of trial and error. Find textures that your child likes. Try to avoid stronger tasting foods. Make the effort to eat in front of him/her. Avoid saying "no" too much and make it easier for him/her to do something right. Sometimes it takes me taking a bite out of her food to get her to eat. She is at the point right now where she will eat but its like pulling teeth. Sometimes, she will become violent at the sight of food. One of her favorite foods is a crunchy wheat-rice cracker called "Cruskits". Its a perfect blank canvas that you can later add toppings onto and gradually work towards eating regular food. She also takes a shake supplement like "Ensure" and vitamins.

It is truly important that your child gets the right diagnosis. Doctors were almost too quick to try to label my daughter with autism (Asperger's). She is completely alert, quite intelligent, but she is not autistic in behavior. Asperger's is not the same thing as SPD. She communicates fine with others in her own way- a complex language of varying pitches and noises. She draws a picture of words with sound but she does not understand when spoken to or how to form words with her tongue/mouth. She becomes over-stimulated easily and shuts down by going to sleep. She has no hearing or health problems and the only allergy she has is hayfever.

Doctors are stumped at the moment. We're playing the waiting game with whatever comes first- her growing out of this or doctor's finding the cause. Until then, I will be homeschooling her until she eats on her own. Its a nice option for those that are unsure if their children would thrive at school.

Dec 04, 2012
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HE IS NOW CHEWING ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING
by: Philile Dzanibe

I started to notice that my son was chewing at 18 months. It worried me so much but not a single doctor knew why and they all said it should have come naturally. I read about all other parents here mashing food for their kids who are more than 1 year. I also did that until I was fed-up!! I know some will and might say it was abuse but to me it was necessary. One day was one day when I decided to make a peanut butter sandwich for my 3 year old son. We fought and he cried so much, vomitting because I kept on putting the bread back to his mouth on his side teeth and showing him to chew while I do the same for him to see. My husband was not even talking to me because he did not agree with my techniques. It only took me 2 weeks and he is now biting and chewing a cookie as well. Last night he asked for a cheespread sandwich for supper which I gladly made for him and he ate it without me interfering. Now my husband does not know what to say, but thank you. I will now send him to a speech therapist for his slow speech. He will turn 4 years in March 2013 but he speaks like a 2 year old. but his understanding is perfect. He holds a pen like I hold it and draws a picture of a whole body like a 6 year old and he has been doing puzzles for 5 year olds from the time he turned 3years. He counts 1-40 and says all the alphabets and knows them even if I ask him one by one mixing them, he does not get confused.

IT TOOK ME TO BE ANGRY AND FEDUP TO TEACH HIM HOW TO CHEW. GOD GAVE ME COURAGE AND I PRAISE HIM FOR THAT.

Dec 03, 2012
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3 year old wont chew
by: Anonymous

My 3 year old son has been diagnosed with reflux, gastritis, colitis and had milk protein allergy for a long time. He doesn't chew except for rice and pita bread. He also has allergic rhinitis. At the momet he's under evaluation for Asperger's Syndrome. So many things for such a young little boy. Of course I'm so stressed with all this going on and on....
Has any of you had any luck with any therapy??

Sep 07, 2012
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eating 3 year old
by: Anonymous

i am at my wits end my little girl will only eat a certain texture and has to be spoon fed will only drink milk from bottle and refuses beaker i am worried as she has has tests but no one can understand why she is like this dont knoe how she will cope at school has any one else had a child go to school with same problem and what is the procedure at school as she is not going to be spoon fed at school and she will go all day without food she is hyper and attention is not at all no imagination at all anyone else got any advise for me or any idea what may be wrong with her

Aug 27, 2012
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3 yr old not chewing afraid of food
by: Viki

my 3 yr old still wont chew food and will only let me feed him with distarctions . have been with OT for 2 yrs now. any happy endings out there?
he has reflux (on prevacid sometimes) and gag reflex. he is terrified of food.
he skipped the mouthing time when baby.
grew up on formula. looking for things to blame... formula? epidural? prenatal vitamins/ ? i have sleepless nights trying to resolve this problem.

Aug 27, 2012
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3 yr old not chewing hates food
by: Viktoria

Here im again my son is a little over 3 yrs old now and we are at the same page. hates food will only ask for mashed food (prepacked gerber to go mash etc.. pudding) I have to hide the home made mashed food and place the gerber food on top of the spoon so he wont se e it this is the only wa y he ll eat homemade mashed food. :/
and it has to be with distractions playing with the trains pretending to feeding the trains or tv,computer etc.... he has a very bad gag thing going on.

Had xray done recently said he also has Reflux... currently on prevacid sometimes. when he stopped drinking and crying becs of hurt when drinking thats when our doctor sent us for the xray. As a baby he never really put any toys in his mouth (skipped the mouthing stage) im upset and want answers most importantly looking for solutions. Have been with OT and Sptherapy for about 2yrs now. help ? any happy stories/?

Aug 21, 2012
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good luck to all
by: Anonymous

hello,

i have a 2 year that does not chew her food. she just put the food in the middle of her tougue and swallows it. yes, she has choked several times. at this moment, she is seeing a speech therapist. it has only been several session, and i've seen a slight progression. her therapist mentioned that she may have to see a OT. she has never crawled and started walking a just nine months, so her therapist thinks she lacks in upper body motor skills. i just hope everything works out for me and every parent(s)that has a child(ren) who has this problem.

Aug 18, 2012
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Progress will be slow
by: Anonymous

There are resolutions, they are just not immediate and we all want our children chewing today, not a couple of years from now. Unfortunately with this problem, progress is slow. I see improvements with my son. He fights me less at mealtimes and is starting to put bananas and other foods to his lips and experimenting with them where 2 months ago he ran away from all food. In March he was only on jarred baby food, now at the end of August he eats over 25 different regular foods, both pureed and mashed. He is definitely improving.

As far as the chewing goes, from what I have seen and from the conversations I have had with others, I think he will be chewing normally by the time he is 4 or 5. He began therapy at the St Joseph's Pediatric feeding and swallowing clinic when he was 2. Think about it, how many 10 year old children do you know that don't chew??? Eventually they will all get it, it's just that it takes a lot of time, a lot of therapy and a lot of patience on our part. It's frustrating as heck, I know that as much as anyone. But it is also now partly my fault that my son isn't improving as fast as I would like. I know for myself and I challenge any other parent to ask themselves these same hard questions, DO YOU FOLLOW THROUGH WITH ALL THE PROTOCOLS THE DOCTORS AND THERAPISTS HAVE SET FORTH FOR YOU EVERY DAY AT EVERY MEAL??? I know that at the beginning of summer I lapsed. When we were on the go, I would bring my son's preferred foods like yogurt or applesauce because they were easier for him and he would eat it in public or wherever we were without a fight and I had too much to get done or we were out with friends for the day etc etc etc... Then I would go back to the clinic and wonder why my son started resisting the harder textured foods like meats and potatoes when he has back in the high chair.

My son and his feeding issues and meal times have to be the top priority every day. I have to schedule play dates appts, even naps, around his feeding schedule. Luckily I am a stay at home mom to just my son. Other working moms or moms with more than just 1 kid, I wonder how the heck they manage!!! So honestly, even if you put 100% of your effort into your child's eating, every day at every meal, you are still looking at a couple of years of this from what I can gather. So it's probably not the answer we all want to hear but there is progress, it's just very slow, and dealing with a feeding disorder can be very overwhelming at times. Just remember you are not alone, even though it often feels like it!!!! Stay strong and positive for your child, as best as you can!!! Good luck!!!

Aug 17, 2012
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RESOLUTION PLEASE :)
by: Anonymous

Has anyone experienced this problem and their child finally began to chew?
1. what steps did you take to help the child to chew?
2. How long did the process take?
3. How challenging was it?
4. is the child on track with eating as if there wasn't a eating issue ever?

I too have this issue with my 3 year old son and I see other moms with the same problem, but never a solution.

Thank you in advance!
God bless out little ones!

Mar 23, 2012
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Chewing
by: Anonymous

That is correct and good advice. They call it lateral placement when you put the spoon to the cheek as opposed midline where you put the spoon in the middle. Good luck!

Mar 23, 2012
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My daughter wont chew
by: Anonymous

My daughter is nearly 3 and wont bite or chew anything. She eats a pretty good diet and will feed herself, but she just wont chew her food. she swallows big fork fulls of food without chewing one little bit. she will lick finger foods but not bite them. I have been advised to put the spoon in the side of her mouth and alternate from left to right to get her to move the food with her tongue. Also to put dissolvable foods like cheese puffs into the side of her mouth and get her to bite down on it. Nothing has worked so far.

Mar 21, 2012
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Feeding clinic
by: Anonymous

The feeding clinic is part of St Joseph's Hospital in Paterson, NJ

Mar 21, 2012
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Toddler does not chew!
by: Anonymous

Please tell us the name of this feeding clinic in New Jersey?

Feb 28, 2012
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We just started a Day Treatment program for feeding
by: Anonymous

My 2 year old just started an intensive day treatment program at a pediatric feeding/swallowing clinic, it meets 5 days a week from 9-4 for a month. He just started yesterday and already I notice improvement. He doesn't chew and the therapists say that even within the whole month of therapy it is probable he will still not chew for some time. the goal is to introduce new foods in puree form and to put the spoon in his mouth in a certain way which will encourage him to chew in the future.

After the month of feeding therapy, which is 4 sessions a day with time in a play room in between and mom observing all feeding sessions and participating in feeding training, treatment continues 2x a week for 2 weeks, then 1x a week for 3 weeks and then once a month for probably years!!! Today my son had puree pancakes with syrup and chicken and he only eats baby food so this was real progress, yes he gagged and was not happy about it, but he didn't resist either, the therapists are fabulous and give him toys, work on a reward system. PROGRESS IS REALLY SLOW so it is important for us parents who are dealing with this to not expect miracles or quick cures,

I asked the therapists if after this program will my son be able to chew on a graham cracker and they said, probably not, so that just goes to show you how complex these problems are. YOU MUST GET GOOD FEEDING THERAPY! The place I am going to is in New Jersey and they take out of state patients. There is a woman in my group from North Carolina and she is staying in a hotel for the month. There is help out there. this program also has an e-feed system which will allow you to do sessions over a webcam with the feeding specialists and doctors. There is help out there. Good luck.

Feb 28, 2012
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My son too!!
by: Anonymous

Hi,

Was happy to see this site. My eighteen month old son doesn't chew, only eats stage 3 and puréed foods. Won't put a gerber puff near his mouth or feed himself. He is in feeding therapy and it seems like such a joke. They ask me the same questions every week and all they say is he doesn't know how to chew, it's sensory processing disorder, etc. Five weeks of playing with shaving cream in therapy and he still won't eat a thing. Sometimes I think the therapists drag things on for their own job security! Today, the sixth session the therapist chased him around the room trying to force feed him a bite of puréed food with a gerber puff on top. Really?? My question to everyone that went through the not chewing issue - did your little one eventually figure it out? Thanks in advance.

Nov 27, 2011
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My son also does not chew!
by: Anonymous

I am so grateful that others struggle with the same thing! My 20 month old refuses to chew still on gerber stage 3 and some other foods I have to mash up in the food processor. He got diagnosed by an occupational therapist as having sensory processing disorder. He also runs around constantly and doesn't like things on his hands. He is starting therapy next week with an OT and he goes to a special pediatric feeding clinic but the progress seems so slow... so far he has not made any efforts to chew and I can't even get the spoon in his mouth like the way the drs at the feeding clinic have showed me. So frustrating but it's nice to know I'm not alone.

Nov 19, 2011
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Update
by: Anonymous

I've noticed (along with a few others) that nobody on here here posts solutions, so yes its nice to knw others share you problems but whats the good if there are no answers coming on here? I posted back in june about my daughter never chewing/feeding herself etc. We have made some progress, in july she stopped eating altogether for 2 weeks (pediatric had no useful advice) then off her own back she started eating again (but she stopped drinking the same day and has never drank from a cup since so I have to use a syringe). She would only eat yoghurt at 1st, however I managed to get her out of the high chair upto the table (much easier than I expected) gradually over the last 5 months I have been making a blended mix for her starting with cream banana and honey then I stared adding ham,cream, lentils, avacado, tinned fruit and potato, I mix it all up together and put it into yoghurt pots. Yes she is still not chewing or feeding herself but she is getting the vitamins she needs. At her creche she now eats 3 times a week with the other children which helps a little, and she will use a spoon when I give her chocolate mousse. I also give her choccy lollys which she holds and licks by herself. Some little tips you may want to try.If anyone else has made progress please tell us

Nov 18, 2011
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I have a 3 yr old son with the same issues
by: Maria Carrillo

Thak You so much for sharing your storing with everyone!!! I have a 3 year old that is going thru the same thing. He tries to chew,but starts gaging. he will only eat mashed food and refuses to feed himself. and will not try new foods. and he doesn't like getting dirty with food either. and the dr's have told me the same thing they never seen a case like this before and just the wait game..I've done reasearch as well and have not found noting yet. I have an appt with a psychiatrist this coming week if he tells me something new i will for sure come and update you..but i'm glad there i found someone that shares the same thing,although it's noting nice but at least it gives us hope that hopefully we could find an answer. and im gladyou were open about tis so more people out there know this is a big problem and we need to find answers,cause our cild cannot go witout chewing and eating..once again thank you and if i find anything i will let u know..here is my email to keep in touch jm.carrillo02@yahoo.com my name is

Nov 10, 2011
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So helpful, thank you!
by: Jennifer

I have a 3 year old going through the same exact thing. She will run away from food. She started this behavior around roughly a year old. Before then, she ate anything and everything for her age group just fine. For the past two years, I've been working on getting her to eat trickier textures to no avail. I always end up back at square one. Food has to be perfectly smooth or she will get sick. What makes absolutely no sense to me is that she will chew on other things just fine, so long as its not food. Anytime I reach out for help, I am accused of coddling my daughter, which simply is not the case (and no, I'm not in denial, either). I've done a lot of research of my own and put an extreme amount of effort into resolving the problem, but nothing has worked. No local pediatricians have ever seen this behavior and they are stumped. They gave me the wait and see advice. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you can come forward with an update in the future, because I would really like to know what angle to take and if it works.

Jun 09, 2011
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Chewing
by: Chip

My 3-year-old daughter who has left-sided infarct and right-sided hemiplegia has the same problem as urs. She hasn't started to chew anything until now. I mash every food like rice, banana etc. to feed her. She also has delayed speech.

One exercise that I've heard to strengthen the jaw muscles is to ask your child to blow torn bits of paper, and make funny faces with cheeks and tongue. Its an exercise which my child has been suggested. My child is slowly improving. God will help u too :)

Jun 04, 2011
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2 1/2 yr old never chewed
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. My daughter has never chewed, She used to eat pretty much everything I offered her as long as it was mashed but since her 2nd birthday she started refusing, I had to cover everything yoghurt and its gradually dwindled to her only eating petite filou, she wont even eat other yoghurts now as they have to be in a certain pot (the petite filou pot) she has never fed herself and I also have to feed her in the high chair with the tv as distraction and she ass screams when she gets food on her hands. I'm not a pushy parent so I never force her to eat I just stay calm and loving and go with what she wants. She is still on formula as that is the only way I can give her the vitamins she needs, she will use a tippy cup but she needs to be lying down, she hates change so I cant feed her and get her to drink outside of our home. Her speech started late but she is coming along fine now. A few people have suggested she may have autism as she struggled with eye contact, dosnt acknowledge other children and has a few odd quirks but I dont think she has, however after reading this forum I've noticed a lot of the children have autism....I dont know what to do about it, I've always said so long as she looks and acts healthy and is drinking her milk I dont mind but it is a secret constant worry.

Nov 19, 2010
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2 yr old wont chew
by: Anonymous

My son has autism and he only eats yogurt, applesauce and still drinks from a bottle. He really cant chew food and he just swallows. I understand what your saying and i hope one day us parents get better help and answers for why this happens to our children. thank u for listening

Sep 23, 2010
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My son Jordan
by: Anonymous

I have a 6 year old Son named Jordan. He has autism but he also has global developmental delays as well. They say that if he didn't have the global developmental delays then his autism would be very mild. He doesn't talk, and he doesn't chew his food at all. He is still on baby food. One day I hope he would be able to chew his food. It just seems like there is no answers as to why he doesn't chew his food at all. I live in Ontario Canada. We haven't had much luck with the services that they have offer us. If anyone has any input at all. It would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you

Jen

Jul 02, 2010
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Nordic Naturals ProEfa fish oil helps speech as clinically tested.
by: Anonymous

Dear Dr Hans Breauer. Not that speech is the concern of my post, however my daughter Bella also has Verbal Dyspraxia and I have supplemented her with Nordic Naturals ProEfa Omega supplement as the American Speech Association suggests to help my daughter with neuronal processing of speech. The combination of fish oil and borage oil is important as clinical studies have found ratios to be very significant. My daughter has overcome her Verbal Dyspraxia and her speech pathologist id astounded. The fish oil and Borage oil complex helps the neurons to communicate and rewire better. I ran out of the oil recently and Bella began stuttering more than usual. I got her on it again and then increased her dose and it is almost gone. I am doing this all under clinical supervision of my speech pathologist and it is a nutritional substance that works. Perhaps you could research the topic to become more better informed and clinically accurate. It is an area that does not need any scientific inaccuracies. Regards Suzanne

Jul 01, 2010
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speech and chewing in babies and toddlers
by: Dr Hans Breauer

I have just read the last comments from mr nottoli-I believe that their is no such thing as
speech nutrients and that speech is developed by
talking to and encouraging children to respond
with sounds-this guy is just trying to make a fast buck with a nonsense remedy

dr Hans Breauer

Mar 03, 2010
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Hello. Update on Bella and some comments to people's questions.
by: Anonymous

Most children can chew but this is why some don't want to.

To begin with, there is a largely genetic food phobia called 'Neophobia' of food which translates as a phobia of eating new foods. Neophobia of food is 78% genetic and 22% social. There is a strong genetic drive to reject food and only eat foods that are deemed safe. Obviously, this leads to a limited diet as the child takes so long to try new foods that as they get older a comfort zone of food develops which the child just won't move out of. In order to get passed this, the child has to work through psychological phobia techniques. Emotional maturity is needed for this. So there is an issue of emotional maturity and a strong will to want to get over the food phobia that can be lacking.

Second category is called 'selective eating disorder' which is a phobia that is not genetically based but brought on by bad experiences such as gagging on food etc. Again phobia techniques need to be used to get passed the fear.

Lastly there is the physically disorder of "sensory processing disorder" where the child can't co-ordinate chewing, gag reflex etc.

As an example Bella has inherited Neophobia of food, as both sides of my husbands family have it!! Bella also had some sensory issues with an overreactive gag reflex. Bella learned that food was dangerous and didn't want to touch food, let alone eat it. So Bella ended up being fed pureed foods which she deemed safe.

The problems left are now concerning phobias. We do phobia work on other non food phobias to prime her. We have a sticker present system with her yogurt. Yogurt is a favorite food, but Bella is now used to me feeding her and won't do it herself. after every tub of yogurt she eats by herself, she gets a sticker and after five stickers gets a present of her choosing. Let me tell you, even with this incentive, sometimes dad has to put on his firm voice to get her to eat the tub by herself. We then tell her how brave she was for doing something that was scary and that she is a brave girl. we also discuss how sometimes when we think something is bad or scary etc it turns out not to be. Of course the child has to be o.k with even being around food for this to work. Some kids with Neophobia of food can't even sit next to a banana without gagging or Hyperventilating.

The SOS food therapy program offered at many American health centres is the best to treat any food issue. It uses a evidence based holistic approach to food problems and is a model that is tailored to each family. Just google SOS food therapy.

Please google "eataholics' or f'reaky eaters' and you will get onto a BBC site that has a documentary series on adults who have food phobias like our children and they have a nutritionist and psychologist to help them through and they eventually eat normally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You can view the series on the site.



If anyone would like to contact me I'm at zsuzs@ncable.net.au.




Jan 26, 2010
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Won't chew
by: Anonymous

I have a three-and-a-half year old son. He CANNOT chew. He doesn't know how to move things around in his mouth, and seems to have an active gag reflex. He has been top an occupational therapist ...
I suspect that he has some sensory issues which was exacerbated by an active gag reflex and recurring bouts of tonsillitis which caused vomiting and unfortunately the antibiotics also caused vomiting.
I tried distracting him when he eats, promising rewards, removing something he likes, but nothing worked, He would rather refuse something he wants or give up something he likes than eat.

He would NEVER feed himself, and I couldnt force the issue since it was like asking a child to inflict pain upon himself. He was not being naughty or willfull: He merely found eating a psychologically and physically painful experience.
He hates anything new: new textures, colours, taste ... He doesn't like ANY FOODS expect milk . formula. I have continued giving him some milk as this was the ONLY positive eating experience he had, I also add vitamins and omega oils to the milk. I even have to "wean" him off formula by diluting it with conventional cow's milk.

Recently, I have gone on maternity leave, and have used this time to teach him to bite into things like banana and bread dipped in milk. The fact that he is older and can understand has helped tremendously. I explain over and over again why and how he has to eat, and I use examples of things (like pedaling his bike) that he couldn't do at first but now enjoy as motivation.
There was constant vomiting, but I didn't give up. I have taught him to feed himself, and forced him t o eat yoghurt, so he is able to have that as a snack at (yesterday was his first day ) preschool. He always wanted to attend preschool but couldn't due to the eating problem. I have alerted the teacher to the problem, am concerned that he will vomit and be teased at school. On the other hand, I hope seeing other children eat5 will be a motivating factor, so i do not want to pack his mashed food. he loves routine and i don't want to start another set of problems by giving him the impression that it is ok to have special food at school.

I have made progress (AND THERE WERE TREATS FROM BOTH OF US!) BUT i JUST DO NOT KNOW HOW TO TEACH HIM TO CHEW WITH HIS BACK TEETH. I have tried placing a large piece of banana in his mouth, but his instinct to "get rid" of the food by swallowing is so strong that the size did not deter him from trying. i am too afraid to try again: I do not want him to choke. I have explained why we chew and he understands, but seem unable to handle the food in his mouth long enough to chew. Please help. i want to get him to chew before my maternity leave ends ... and i want eating to become -if not pleasant - then at least tolerable for him.

Jan 20, 2010
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we need your help
by: mr and mrs adu gyamfi ghana

i have the same problem but in africa autism is not common. no doctor was able to tell us the problem with our kids until i went online.i wept the whole night because my kids were eating only milk and wheat.
is there any organisation that will help to send some drugs to us to take care of them?i am always thinking about them taking care of themselves when we are gone
please help by calling us on +233 244 251650
george and +233 244 581360 or email me adu2gyamfi@yahoo.co.uk

i hope to hear good news from you
thanks and God will surely rewards you

GHANA

Jul 01, 2009
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My daughter has the same problem!
by: Monique

Hi,
My daughter, Emma, has autism and also cannot chew. Everything has to be smooth and her diet consists mainly of yogurt, bananas, Gerber stage 2 foods, and Pediasure shakes. My heart goes out to you since I know what you are going through. Like you, I have to spoon feed Emma in a high chair with the TV on in order to distract her enough to eat sufficiently. I have been EVERYWHERE and have seen EVERY specialist about this. Based on my own research and consults, it is called "grading awareness." Your proprioceptive system is in charge of the input received to your muscles and joints.

In children with low muscle tone, they do not receive the input needed to grade what is going into their mouths. Think of what you feel like when you receive Novicaine. Afraid to chew, right? I think what happens is a fear develops because the child cannot sense the solid food and as a result all other skills, such as chewing, go out the window. I have made some gains with Emma by giving her cheese puffs. Cheese puffs dissolve in the mouth so after that initial rejection, the fear goes away and she can experiment with the item. I have also slowly (very slowly) started to add baby rice cereals into a yogurt/banana mixture, being careful to mix it thoroughly since one chunk and she's done. At least the mixture is getting thicker which allows her to move her mouth a little more productively.

Stay strong and keep doing anything you can to stimulate the nerves and muscles in and outside of her mouth to help develop the awareness your child needs.

I don't know if Emma will ever chew either. I hope so! Please feel free to email me at mcalello@yahoo.com if you need someone to connect with who is experiencing such a rare challenge with their child. I know I often feel very alone on this one, too.

Jun 30, 2009
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Chewing
by: Anonymous

Yes, it is possible. My suggestion, based upon experience, is to find a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) as quickly as possible.

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