Can a speech therapist determine if my child is a picky or “problem” eater?

During my time as a speech pathologist, I’ve often heard parents say in distress, “I never thought feeding my child would be so difficult.” If you have felt this way, don’t worry you’re normal. This is very common.

If your child is struggling with texture sensitivities, reflux, or something else, eating can be an absolute chore that plagues the family every day for every meal. Also, toddlers that are problem eaters can suffer from lack of full nutrition. Don’t despair; these feeding issues can be addressed through therapy.

Below, I have separated feeding therapy into four main areas complete with a few suggested treatment techniques. The following overview is a broad look at the areas that my feeding therapy would address, but is not a comprehensive treatment plan.

1. FAMILY DYNAMICS: This component focuses on training the family to have healthy and positive mealtime interactions and routines.

2. ORAL MOTOR: This component addresses the numerous hands-on techniques and tools that help increase awareness, strength and mobility for the child’s oral musculature.

3. SENSORY: This component focuses on texture sensitivities and food aversions.

4. BEHAVIOR: This component focuses on issues surrounding avoidance techniques that many children engage in to circumvent mealtime.

If you are concerned with your child’s speech or language development, please contact Chicago Speech Therapy by calling 312-399-0370 or by clicking on the “Contact Karen” button on the upper right section of this page.

Your local Speech Language Pathologist,

Karen George

Karen George is a Chicago speech-language pathologist. The practice she founded, Chicago Speech Therapy, LLC, provides in-home pediatric speech therapy in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Karen and her team of Chicago speech therapists have a reputation for ultra-effective speech therapy and work with a variety of speech disorders. Karen is the author of several books such as A Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Milestones, A Parent’s Guide to Articulation, A Parent’s Guide to Speech Delay, A Parent’s Guide to Stuttering Therapy, and A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Feeding Therapy. She is often asked to speak and has addressed audiences at top Children’s Hospitals and Northwestern University. Karen is highly referred by many Chicago-area Pediatricians and elite schools.