SWFL occupational therapists

Shoe-Tying Strategies From Our SWFL Occupational Therapists

Fort Myers feeding therapy

A New Diagnosis: Pediatric Feeding Disorder & How Fort Myers Feeding Therapy Can Help

Virtually all children go through some stage of “picky eating,” and it may be both temporary and harmless. However, when it persists and a child fails to grow and thrive alongside their peers, they may be diagnosed with pediatric feeding disorder – a new diagnosis that Fort Myers feeding therapy can help to treat.

The condition was formally recognized last October, as explained by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) is understood to involve impaired oral intake that is not age-appropriate, and is associated with medical, nutritional, feeding skill, or psychosocial dysfunction. It lasts more than two weeks, and is associated with 1 or more of the following:

  • Medical dysfunction (cardiorespiratory compromise during oral feeding or aspiration/recurrent aspiration pneumonitis).
  • Nutritional dysfunction (as evidenced by malnutrition, specific nutrient deficiency/significantly restricted intake of one or more nutrients resulting from restricted dietary diversity, or reliance on enteral feeds/oral supplements for hydration and/or nutrition).
  • Feeding skill dysfunction (need for texture modification of liquid or food, use of modified feeding position/equipment, or modified feeding strategies).
  • Psychosocial dysfunction (active/passive avoidance of child when being fed, inappropriate caregiver management of child’s feeding needs, disruption of social functioning in a feeding context, or disruption of caregiver-child relationship associated with feeding).

The full diagnostic criteria is spelled out by the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

Fort Myers ABA therapists

Fort Myers ABA Therapists’ Tips for Supporting Siblings of Kids With Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD for short) is now diagnosed in 1 in 44 children in the U.S. As a broad range of conditions characterized by deficits in social skills, speech, communication, repetitive behaviors, and other challenges, the ripple effect of the condition impacts more than just the individual diagnosed. In fact, home carryover of early intervention therapies (speech, occupational, and ABA) is most effective when everyone in the home is committed to following our recommended strategies.

Our Fort Myers ABA therapists recognize that families – and neurotypical siblings in particular – may struggle with anxiety, depression, and social difficulties, as outlined in a recent study. On the flip side, researchers also found that children with autism who have a neurotypical older sibling tend to have better social skills than those who did not.

The key is striking a balance, and ensuring that both children are supported – and given the tools to understand each other.

A child with autism may, inevitably, demand more of a parent’s time, energy, focus, and resources. This may leave siblings of kids on the spectrum feeling as if they are being overlooked. It’s important to validate and address these feelings so that it doesn’t grow into a much larger issue as time goes on.