Child Won’t Chew: Any Tips


Beth Posts:

DEAR ERI COMMUNITY: I have a client right now that I am having trouble teaching how to chew. He was on stage 2 baby foods at 14 months old when I first started working with him. He is now eating mashed table foods, but often needs pudding or appleasuce on the spoon with the foods to tolerate. His mother has done the Therapressure Protocol with him in the past and we saw great improvements with tolerating touching foods, diaper changes, etc. I have asked his mother to start the Therapressure Protocol again. Now that we are gradually making his food chunkier, we have noticed that he does not chew. I gave his mom a NUK brush and gave her suggestions on working on tongue lateralization to improve oral motor skills. He will briefly hold something between his front teeth, but he pushes the chewy tube forward with his tongue when I place it on his back molars. I have his mother inserting the spoon to the sides of his mouth so the food is placed on his molars and she said she thinks he chewed one time over the past week. Any tips or suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!

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4 Responses to Child Won’t Chew: Any Tips

  1. Margaret Fischer says:

    Put the nuk at the molars. Put very slight pressure down and this will elicit a reflexive bite down. Do it a few times on each side working up to 20 on each side. This will strengthen the ability to chew. The main thing you will need to change is using a nuk instead of a tube. Also, I find the grabber, a p or t chewie more useful for chewing when the child is working on it by herself as it tends to move to naturally move to the molars. Finially, mixed textures are harder to manage then one by itself, so it might work better to go from stage 1 to soft meltables or cheerios, or graham crackers or rice crispies. Use your judgement for choking as I don’t see this child.

  2. Charmaine says:

    A 3 year old girl diagnose with downs, during feeding will bite on spoon or chewy tube and will not let go, therefore not initiating chewing. She mainly swallows without chewing, any advice, Thanks

  3. Mandy says:

    Comment received from Linda:
    Use netting wrap small bites of something tasty. Present on molars and practice up and down movements. Must strengthen muscles as well as get the feel of something between teeth. Little squares of netting keep it so you can control food so you do not set off gag. Then you can toss the food and net.

  4. sk maidul islam says:

    My son can’t chew.Whenever we give food in his mouth,he puts forward and somewhat chew little by his front teeth.Please help me to teach him chewing by mollars.

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