What approaches to feeding therapy work for an SPD child?
by Kathy M
My question is about what approach to feeding therapy other parents have found worked with SPD kids who are resistant eaters. I've read Ellyn Satter's work on the division of responsibility, where parents set eating schedule and healthy options and the child is in control of what and how much s/he eats. With my son, that approach sounds to me to make sense, but I haven't found local OTs or SLPs who follow it.
My son is 6 and has SPD. He has had feeding issues since birth and is a resistant eater, with an extremely limited diet: mac & cheese, cheese pizza, some breads (w/o too much texture), hotdogs, sliced lunch meat, cooked broccoli, quesadillas, apple sauce. That's about it. Other than eating, my son is a sensory seeker: spinning, bumping & crashing, easily distracted, tickle-craver... At 2 and 3 years old we tried an interdisciplinary feeding team approach at the local children's hospital. The strategy was a combination of preparatory physical work & then a reward & divert strategy to "trick" my son into eating new foods. It worked until he turned 3 and developed an awesome will and sense of self. Dinner time became intolerable and we stopped therapy and now prepare two dinners every night, since we refuse to eat a diet of mac & cheese & pizza. Even so, after three years of easing up on the feeding pressure, dinners are still unpleasant, because of my son's unpredictable eating and his need to push our buttons when he's unhappy about his food choices.
I would love to hear from other parents whose children had similar resistance and who have found successful therapies or other approaches to the problem. Thanks!