Failure to Thrive – Feeding

Kristen Posts:

Dear ERI COMMUNITY: I am a pediatric nurse practitioner working with a child who struggles with severe oral aversion. At 18 months old she was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and failure to thrive and enrolled her in the early intervention program. She was much delayed in her gross motor skills and not walking until 19 mos. Fast forwarding to age three, she was diagnosed with Celiacs disease and we thought that was the answer to her failure to thrive and her sensory issues. A year later she didn’t grow in height and only gained a pound weighing a mere 26lbs. After a long agonizing 3 month decision with the GI team we placed a gtube. All this time her family, doctors, and therapists seemed to miss her oral aversion focusing on her delayed grossed motor skills. So today at age 5 she maybe orally eats a select few foods and relies on gtube feeds to keep her alive. Everyday is a struggle to get her to eat and “just take one bite”. What are your experiences with these children in their teen and adult years? What percentage out grow this problem? What have you found to be the most successful treatments? Thanks for all your help.

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3 Responses to Failure to Thrive – Feeding

  1. Jennifer Martin says:

    Many times by the time the child is this age, and has had so many years of not eating by mouth (for several reasons)they require intensive feeding programs to progress. I was just at a conference given by the women that both work at these feeding programs, and many of the kids there were very similar to this little girl. I don’t know where you all are located, but there is one in Denver (Toomey and Associates), one in Richmond, Virginia (The Pediatric Feeding Institute), and one in Elkhart, Indiana. I’m sure there are others too. Another group that may be very beneficial for the family is The Popsicle Group.You can Google them to get to the website. This group is comprised of parents who all have children with severe feeding problems and many professionals that treat them, so a great support system. In my experience, I have not seen these kids make big improvements without first getting all of the medical questions answered and then receiving a lot of feeding therapy. I hope some of this is helpful.

  2. Mandy says:

    With one this severe and this old, I think an intense feeding program that is a day program or inpatient would be the only way to make progress. It would need to be therapy and behavior management approached. ER has a great course Mealtime Miseries about this very type child.

  3. Mandy says:

    Hi Kristen, the course Linda is referring to is Meal Time Miseries with Carol Elliott and Betsy Clawson
    Please click here for more details.
    Hope this helps

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