extra-curricular success for children with special needs

Ensure Extra-Curricular Success for Children with Special Needs

Often parents of children with special needs are worried and fearful about the ability of their child to succeed in extra-curricular activities such as sports, boy scouts, dance, art class, etc. Parents often fear the worst and are afraid of how the child will behave or act in such circumstances.  I would recommend that parents utilize several tips in order to help ensure success with each out-of-school activity, as these activities have many proven benefits for a child’s self-esteem.

Tips for Working with Coaches to Ensure Success for Children with Special Needs in Extra-Curricular Activities:

1. Be frank with the coach or director of the activity. Inform him or her about the child’s concerns. These are often individuals who volunteer to help children and more times than naught have the child’s best interest in mind.

2. Let the individual know what types of behaviors the child has exhibited in the past. What happened in school when parents were away, etc?

3. Create a list of accommodations that have proven to be beneficial for the child. Let the coach or instructor in on some of the modifications that have been helpful in the academic setting, as he may be able to apply the modification to the activity setting.

4. Be present, or within immediate reach, for the first few sessions.

5. Have the child go and see the building and room will the activity will occur. If possible, meet the instructor to form a relationship in advance.

Ultimately the main goal of after school activities is to increase socialization while teaching a skill, activity, or sport. The above tips should help provide some strategies to ensure the maximum success for children who have special needs in such situations.

the benefits of a visual schedule

The Benefits of a Visual Schedule for Home and School Success

Do you feel like a broken record when you ask your child to complete a simple task or standard routine? Whether you’re asking your child to fulfill her typical morning routine or planning ahead for the upcoming weekend, try using a visual schedule to outline your expectations.

The benefits of a visual schedule include the following:

Visual schedules make chores or tasks objective instead of subjective. When there is a neutral source promoting expectations for the child, it fosters enhanced independence in the child as well as takes the emotionality out of having to remind, repeat, and get frustrated with the child’s progress. Even though it would seem like second nature to complete standard morning time practices, the visual schedule outlines for the child what comes first, second, last, etc. and provides a checklist to move through. Some parents take pictures of their child completing these tasks (i.e. making their bed, brushing their teeth, packing their bag, eating breakfast) to make this a visually pleasing tool and increase child investment in the process.

Visual schedules make transitions easier. For younger children who thrive with structure and benefit from knowing what is on the agenda for the day, a simple visual schedule can aid in transitions and reduce anxiety about upcoming events. These schedules can be less formal and just require a simple sketch of what is to come. During lazy days or even days with little going on, visual schedules can help to structure unstructured time and provide a variety of outlets in a time-sensitive fashion. For example, on a relaxing Saturday create a schedule with your child that incorporates meal times and provides options for morning “art time” and afternoon “outdoors time”. These schedules create structure with pictures. Instead of writing out art time, draw with crayons, paints, or chalk. Meal time would be indicated with a picture of a sandwich and plate. Drawing these expectations out can facilitate independence for even young kids to stick to the routine and understand the structure through the use of symbols.

These visual schedule help bring structure and independence to all home and school routines.

For more help this school year, watch this Pediatric TV Episode on how to set up a homework station at home.




prepping your child for kindegarten

On the Way…Prepping Your Child for Kindergarten

 

 

 

School is just around the corner, and some kiddos will be starting their journey into formal education as they head off to Kindergarten. Here are some tips to prepare your child…and yourself for this important milestone.

Why is it important to prepare your child for Kindergarten?

It is important that your child is prepared for this transition so they can have positive interactions when learning and participating in the classroom as well as to build their self-esteem and motivation.

What are common “readiness” skills?

While every school may have their own checklist or assessments, there are some basics skills that most Kindergarten teachers will look for including the following:

Self Help Skills

  • Child is able to be independent (eating, using restroom, clean up)
  • Able to ask for help, when appropriate
  • Can follow one-step and two-step directions

Social/Emotional Skills

  • Shares with others
  • Takes turns
  • Good listener
  • Able to work independently or in small groups
  • Plays/cooperates with others
  • Able to separate from Caregiver

Gross (large) Motor Skills

  • Runs, jumps
  • Able to bounce, kick, and throw a ball
  • Able to participate in small games
  • Can stand on one foot

Fine (small) Motor Skills

Math, Language, and Literacy Skills

  • Able to count to 10
  • Recognizes 10 or more letters, especially those in own name
  • Speaks in sentences of 5+ words
  • Speech is understandable to adults
  • Identifies and names basic shapes
  • Listens attentively and can respond to stories/books
  • Recognizes rhyming words and can put words together that rhyme

How can you help your child be ready for Kindergarten?

Here are some tips to help your child be the best they can be when heading off to Kindergarten:

  • Talk about what will happen in school—what will be the new routine?
  • Arrange a visit to the school and travel the route from home to school (especially if they will be on a bus).
  • Encourage play—independently and with other children.
  • Read, Read, Read—ask questions about the book (what may happen, what they learned), and have them identify colors, shapes, letters
  • Have child practice coloring, writing, and using scissors—“practice makes perfect!”
  • Talk with your child—ask them open-ended questions and have them reciprocate.
  • Use daily activities to point out words, numbers and help child formulate sentences of 5+ words.
  • Encourage independence in your child by having them do simple chores (ex: make bed, help set table/clean up at mealtimes, help with pets in household).

***Most importantly caregivers…be careful not to transmit any anxieties or sadness you may have when your “baby” goes off to school. Children can easily pick up on the emotions of adults, so wait until the bus is out of sight, or the car door closes and THEN pull out the tissues!!




ADHD in boys and girls

ADHD in Girls v. Boys

 

 

 

 

Although there are many features of ADHD that may overlap between genders, studies have shown there to be characteristics that differ among boys and girls. Neither of these characteristics are exclusive to the gender, but these are generally the characteristics seen in girls and boys with an ADHD diagnosis:

 ADHD Features in GIRLS:

  • Tend to show more symptoms of inattentiveness vs. hyperactivity
  • Are more likely to be diagnosed later in their academic career
  • Some adult women are not diagnosed until their child goes through the process and is diagnosed themselves!
  • Have a higher likelihood of being under-identified and under-treated
  • Display more symptoms of inattention, daydreaming, and memory problems
  • May be initially misdiagnosed
  • Tend to go under the radar during early school years
  • Tend to be slower learners and less motivated
  • Are at-risk for self-esteem issues, mood issues, and substance abuse
  • Adolescent-aged girls have lower self-efficacy and coping skills
  • Have a higher tendency to internalize problems
  • Are easily overwhelmed
  • Have difficulty with time management

 ADHD Features in BOYS:

  • Have a 2:1 ratio diagnosis of boys to girls
  • Are more likely to be detected and diagnosed early on in the school–age years
  • Show more symptoms of hyperactivity and behavioral problems
  • Have higher rates of impulsivity
  • Have Higher incidents of externalizing problems associated with ADHD symptoms (i.e. aggression, trouble getting along with peers)
  • Have trouble sitting still or disruptive in the classroom
ball skills

Help Your Child Develop Ball Skills

 

 

 

Pediatric physical therapists and occupational therapists often work with young children on play skills to prepare them for school and sports. Between when a baby first learns to sit on his own and when he starts preschool, many gross motor skills are developing. The ability to catch, throw, and kick a ball often reflect how well a child can balance his body in space, interact with his environment, and coordinate opposing sides of his body. As a prelude to specialized sports, ball skills are especially important for children to master. The questions parents frequently ask me are often related to the development of those ball skills.

 

When should my child be able to catch a ball?

Catching a ball takes on different qualities when it comes to development. A one-year- old child should be able to catch a ball while sitting down by enclosing the ball with arms and hands, without falling or losing his balance.

  • By age 2, a child is able to stand and hold his arms in front of his body, with palms up in a receiving position in anticipation. He should attempt to secure a ball thrown from 5ft away by bringing hands to chest.
  • By age 3, he should be able to catch a ball thrown from 5ft away with hands only, with arms outstretched, without the need to bring his hands to his chest. At four and a half, a child is able to catch a tennis ball from 5ft away using his hands only, with arms bent at 45 degrees, at least 2 out of 3 times.
  • By age 6, a child can bounce a tennis ball on the floor and catch it with 1 hand.

How should my child throw a ball at different ages?

  • At 12 months, a baby can roll a ball forward on the floor at least 3ft using his hands. He can also stand and throw a ball in any direction by extending his arm at shoulder or elbow.
  • By 18 months, a child should be able to stand and throw a ball without falling.
  • By 2 years, a child will be able to throw a tennis ball forward at least 3ft using an overhand and underhand technique. By two and a half, that distance doubles.
  • By three and a half, a child will be able to throw a tennis ball forward 10ft in the air and use appropriate technique, such as moving arms up and back using upper trunk rotation, with arms and legs moving in opposition. He can also hit a 2ft target from 5ft away with a tennis ball using underhand toss.
  • By four and a half, a child can throw a tennis ball underhandedly at least 10ft using trunk rotation and opposing arm/leg movements. He can also hit a target from 12ft away 2 out of 3 trials using an overhand toss.

When should my child be able to kick a ball?

  • At a year and a half, a child will have the balance and coordination to stand, lift his foot, and contact a ball. By 20 months, he can kick a stationary ball forward 3ft. By 2 years, he would be able to do this without the ball deviating more than 20 degrees to either side of midline, suggesting good control of his body and limbs.
  • A 3-year-old can kick a ball forward 6ft using opposing arm and leg movements. He should be able to initiate the kick by bringing his foot backwards with knee bent.
  • By 6 years, a child has the balance, coordination, and strength to kick the ball forward and up in the air at least 12ft, using proper technique.

Okay. So that’s what my child should be doing. How do I help him achieve these developmental milestones?

It is so important to start at a level that your child can achieve and then gradually increase the difficulty. Children respond well to success and praise, and they are more willing to try challenging tasks as they build up their confidence. Break down each task step by step. For example, if kicking a ball is hard or if his technique is off, have your child practice standing on one foot first or kick a balloon instead. If throwing underhandedly is tough, break down the different position of his arms and legs during each point of the motion. Achieving developmental milestones is a matter of practice, timing, cognitive maturation, and understanding the parts of each task.

Look for an upcoming blog about specialized sports for children. If you continue to have questions or concerns about your child’s coordination, development, and ball skills, come in and talk to one of our specialists!

what is phonemic awareness

What is Phonemic Awareness?

Literacy, or the ability to read and write, is paramount to a child’s success in school. Many children struggle with these skills, and this struggle may be due to difficulty with the building blocks of reading and writing, also known as phonological awareness. Phonological awareness can be thought of as one’s ability to identify sounds and letters as they relate to our spoken (and written) language. We all remember playing rhyming games in elementary school, but many people are unaware of their importance!

Children who have an understanding of phonological awareness understand that sentences are made up of words, words are made up parts (syllables), and each syllable has distinctive sounds. One great way to practice phonological awareness is through rhyming games and alliteration. Children will enjoy saying tongue twisters like, “Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore.” and identifying how many /s/ and /sh/ words they can count!

Phonemic awareness, a subset of phonological awareness, allows children to manipulate parts of language. Similar to phonological awareness, phonemic awareness is also comprised of parts including the following:
•    Segmenting: what sounds do we hear in the word “hat?” /h/, /a/, /t/
•    Blending: if you hear the sounds /t/, /o/, /p/, what do we get when we put them together?
•    Deleting: what’s “bat” without the “t?”
•    Substituting: if we change the /h/ in “house” to an /m/, what do we get?
•    Identifying: what’s the first sound in “cat?”

Phonemic awareness is separate from letter identification as it targets individual sounds; however, parents can incorporate letter names when practicing.

Phonological awareness typically begins in preschool and continues through early elementary school to prepare children for reading. These skills serve as the foundation for a child’s ability to read and write. If you suspect your child may be struggling with phonological awareness skills, a licensed speech-language pathologist can help!

Click here to read about 7 Ways to Increase Phonological Awareness.

Young girl cutting paper

Spring Crafts For Kids

The official first day of Spring has arrived and Spring breaks are in progress!  The weather may be a little chilly, but here are some springtime crafts for your family to enjoy.

Crayon Critters – ages preschool to school age

This craft is a great way to have children use their imaginations…and to use up crayon pieces!
 
Supplies

  • Wax Paper
  • Bits of crayon
  • Warm iron (under adult supervision)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Hole-Punch
  • Fishing line or yarn
  • Tacky glue (optional)
  • White paper (construction or copy)
  • Cloth (optional)
  • Black construction paper (optional)

Instructions

  • Create your pattern by drawing it on the white paper (draw it large enough to use up the entire piece of paper).  Some spring ideas:  butterfly, caterpillar, lady bug, bird.
  • Place a piece of wax paper over created pattern.
  • Sprinkle crayon shavings (sparingly!) on wax paper
  • Place another piece of wax paper on top of shavings and a blank sheet of paper or a cloth over that. Gently press down with a warm iron. The crayon will melt quickly.
  • Staple pattern to the crayon melted wax paper outside of the design area and cut out. This may be enough for the littlest crafters.
  • (Optional for older children) Create a black outline with construction paper for your critter to make it even more dramatic.  To do this, take a pencil and outline the critter on top of the black paper. Cut out holes or shapes in the black paper so the crayon design shows through.
  • Glue the black paper to the wax paper.  A little tacky glue will go a long way, so use a little at a time.
  • Punch a hole in the top of the critter and thread fishing line or yarn through to enable it to be hung in the window.

Egg Carton Wreaths – ages preschool to school age

At some point most of us will have an empty egg carton…instead of throwing it away, this is a great project to recycle it!

Supplies

  • Egg Carton (1)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Cardboard
  • Tacky glue
  • Ribbon or yarn
  • Scissors

Instructions

  • Cut a ring (about 12″ in diameter) from a small piece of cardboard to be the base for the wreath.
  • Tear apart all the egg cups so they are individualized.
  • Make cuts in each egg cup to create petals.  (So it will have slits going all around the cup)
  • Decorate each cup using watercolors (or markers) to create all the flowers.  Feel free to add any other type of decorating technique  (glitter, feathers, pipe-cleaners, etc)
  • Use tacky glue to attach each flower to our cardboard ring.
  • Make a small hole in the cardboard base and use ribbon to hang.

Birdfeeders

Here is a great project that helps your child or teen feed the birds that have ended their hibernation and are ready or spring, just like us!
 Supplies

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Knife
  • Peanut butter (or shortening if there is a peanut allergy)
  • Bird seed
  • Paper plate
  • String or pipe-cleaners
  • Hole punch
  • Cheerios (or a cereal with a hole in the middle of each piece)

Instructions

  • Take a pipe-cleaner and bend one end bend one end (so the Cheerios don’t fall off), and thread the Cheerios on.  Make a loop at the top to hang it on the tree.
  • Use a hole-punch to make a hole at the top of your toilet paper roll.
  • Spread peanut butter or shortening on the toilet paper roll.
  • Pour birdseed onto a plate so you cannot see the bottom of the plate
  • Roll the peanut butter-covered TP roll in bird seed until it’s fully covered.

Options for hanging:

–Hang on the end of a tree branch.

–Put a string through a punched hole and hang it on a branch.

–Use the pipe-cleaner with Cheerios to hang on a branch

Bottle Feeder – for older kids

 Supplies

  • One- 1 liter bottle of soda
  • One- 2 liter bottles of soda. (bottles should have straight bottom sections, rather than curved ones)
  • 5′ of thick wire, at least 2mm gauge.
  • Sharp scissors or x-acto knife
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Paint (acrylic or tempera)
  • Paint brushes
  • Wooden spoons (2-3)
  • Bird seed

Instructions

  • Remove the labels and all glue.
  • Save the bottle cap from the 2 Liter bottle.
  • Cut the 1 liter bottle at roughly the halfway point between where the neck widens out and the bottom of the bottle. Keep the lower portion of the bottle.
  • Cut the 2 liter bottle at the widest part of the neck.  Keep the upper/neck portion of the bottle.
  • Cut a 1.5-2″ hole in the side of the smaller bottle, roughly 1″ up from the top of the feet,  no less than 1/2″ away from the top edge.
  • Test the bigger bottle (this is the roof) over the smaller bottle (main part of house) If the top section looks too big, trim the edges so that the top part is shorter and looks more like a roof.
  • Use the hammer and nail to add 2 holes, on opposite sides of the smaller bottle.   They should be 1/2″ away from the top edge of the bottle but not on the same side as the entry hole.
  • Next add four holes in the bottle cap not too close to the edge of the cap.
  • Paint the bottle pieces and let dry a couple hours or until no longer wet.
  • Cut two pieces of the wire (about 2′ long) and thread it through the top of the bottle cap.  Continue to threat the wire through the outside of the smaller bottle and then back up through the next hole. Repeat for the other side with a second length of wire.
  • Making sure all of the wires ends are even, overlap their ends by about 2″. Twist the ends together and hang!


World Health Organization Development Study Results: Gross Motor Milestones In the First Year

 

The line between typical and atypical development can be a hazy one. There are standards that pediatricians, physical therapists, and developmental experts use to monitor growth and deviations from the norm, which allow us to recommend interventions when appropriate.  In 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a whole new set of standards for evaluating and assessing the development of children from birth to 5 years.

What makes this new standard a great tool to monitor the change and growth of infants? This standard is based on data collected from healthy children, over multiple years, in six diverse geographic regions including Southeast and Southwest Asia, Europe, West Africa, North and South America. What is exciting about the new evaluation tool is that now, pediatric specialists have more than just reference curves for physical growth, but curves for motor development as well.

The six gross motor milestones WHO examined in babies were the following:

1.    Sitting without support
2.    Standing with assistance
3.    Hands-and-knees crawling
4.    Walking with assistance
5.    Standing alone
6.    Walking alone

The “windows of milestone achievement” were organized into percentile rankings which pediatricians and physical therapists can use, much like a growth chart.

Without delving too deep into statistics and calculations, the typical age range (in months) for each milestone is listed below:

1.    Sitting without support: 3.8 – 9.2 months
2.    Standing with assistance: 4.8 – 11.4 months
3.    Hands-and-knees crawling: 5.2 – 13.5 months
4.    Walking with assistance: 5.9 – 13.7 months
5.    Standing alone: 6.9 – 16.9 months
6.    Walking alone: 8.2 – 17.6 months

The average (mean) age for healthy children achieving each milestones is as follows:

1.    Sitting without support: 6 months (with 1.1 month standard deviation, SD)
2.    Standing with assistance: 7.6 months (with 1.4 month SD)
3.    Hands-and-knees crawling: 8.5 months (with 1.7 month SD)
4.    Walking with assistance: 9.2 months (with 1.5 month SD)
5.    Standing alone: 11 months (with 1.9 month SD)
6.    Walking alone: 12.1 months (with 1.8 month standard deviation)

(Click here to view this information in chart form from WHO.)

What is most interesting is that about 90% of the children studied met their milestones in a common sequence, and only 4% of the children skipped hands-and-knees crawling.  (Read here about the importance of crawling.)

As you read over these standards and timelines, remember that every baby develops differently from another. If you see your baby fall behind on any of the 6 gross motor milestones above, mention it to his pediatrician, and she will most likely recommend a physical therapist to help him along.



Reference:
WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study Group.  WHO Motor Development Study: Windows of achievement for six gross motor development milestones. Acta Paediatrica, 2006; Suppl 450: 86-95.

Strategies for Pre-Reading | The Benefits of Wordless Books

 

One of my favorite tools to use in speech therapy is a wordless book. They have endless (okay, maybe not completely endless, there is a story in those pictures) possibilities for creating, imagining, predicting, and story telling.

Here are the top 10 reasons why I LOVE wordless books for kids:

1.    It’s reading before reading. These books can empower a young child to be the storyteller instead of having to listen mom or dad read the words. This encourages story telling skills, language and overall comprehension.
2.    It increases vocabulary.  You can use the objects or actions in the books to introduce new words to your child. It’s also a great way to work on synonyms. For example, your child might say, “The dog ran fast” and you could talk about other ways you express what’s happening in the picture (“The dog ran quickly”).
3.    It works on inferencing. Without words, your child will have to rely solely on the pictures to infer what is happening in the story. You can probe further by asking, “How did you know that?”
4.    It works on predicting. You and your child can talk about what you might think will happen next based on the picture you’re looking at; you can also talk about why they made that prediction.
5.    It introduces story structure. Your child will learn about the beginning, middle, and end of the story as he describes each picture. At the end of the book you can go back and identify, then discuss, each part.
6.    It promotes creativity. Your child is not constricted to the words on the page in wordless books. Because there are no words, the pictures on each page often have a lot to say. This encourages your child to go above and beyond with his story telling.
7.    It helps with story retell. I’ve noticed that children who have difficulty retelling stories they’ve read or heard can retell stories that they have helped develop much easier. Wordless books provide a great building block to retelling stories they have read or heard.
8.    It can help with written language. Older children can write their stories down instead of verbally expressing them. This is a great way to work on descriptive language, sequencing, and overall cohesive writing.
9.    It encourages higher level thinking skills. Some of the pictures can be abstract. This opens up questions like, “What if?” and “What would you do?” “What would it be like to___?”
10.    Wordless Books are fun! I love that the story is always changing and evolving each time you “read” it. Children love to create and use their imaginations, and wordless books provide an outlet for that. It’s amazing to see the ideas that children have and they way they process the information. They may have a completely different idea of what’s happening in the picture than you do; and you may realize, that their idea is often more imaginative and original than your own.

Here is a quick list of some of my favorite wordless picture books:

  • Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day
  • The Lion and The Mouse by Pinkney
  • *A Boy, a Dog and a Frog by Mercer Mayer
  • *Frog Goes to Dinner by Mercer Mayer
  • *The Chicken Thief by Beatrice Rodriguez
  • *Fox and Hen Together by Beatrice Rodriguez
  • *Jack and the Missing Piece by Pat Schories
  • *Breakfast for Jack by Pat Schories
  • The Snowman by Raymund Briggs
  • Tuesday by David Wiesner

* Indicates a book series

Click here to read more about the stages of reading development.  If you have concerns about your child’s early reading, contact our Blossom Reading Program.

Picky Eater vs. Problem Feeder

Eating. What’s not to love? Whether it’s a gooey, cheesy slice of pizza or a warm cookie fresh out of the oven (yum!), let’s face it -humans love to eat.  Little humans, ehh not so much. Little ones can be incredibly stubborn when it comes to eating, especially when they’re toddlers. What three year old didn’t go through a phase of just eating her go-to; whether it was mac-and-cheese, hot dogs, or PB&J. Many parents have said the words “picky eater” in reference to their child’s eating habits, but it’s important to know the differences between your run-of-the-mill picky eater versus your problem feeder.

Problem feeding is not a normal part of child development. Feeding problems are estimated to occur in up to 25% of normally developing children and in up to 35% of children with neurodevelopmental disabilities. A common definition for feeding problems is “the refusal or inability to eat certain foods.” Feeding problems can lead to serious medical issues such as malnutrition, dehydration, and impaired intellectual, emotional and academic development. Because of these potential impacts on the child’s development, early recognition and management are critical.

The table below can help you determine if your child’s eating skills are following a normal trajectory or further evaluation is needed:

Picky Eater

Problem Feeder

Eats a decreased variety of foods, usually around 30 foods Eats a restricted variety of food, usually 20 or fewer foods
Foods lost due to “burn out” (i.e. one too many hot dogs = refusal) are typically incorporated back into the child’s diet after about 2 weeks Will eat food over and over again like a picky eater but once they burn out, they will not incorporate that food back into their diet
Can tolerate new foods on their plate, will touch or taste a new food even if they aren’t really excited about it Crying/screaming/melt-down mode if a new food is on their plate and will not tolerate touching or tasting
Eats at least one food from most food group textures (e.g. crunchy, soft, puree, etc.) Refuses entire categories of food textures
Will eat a food after being exposed to it at least 10 times Will not try a new food after 10 or more exposures
Sometimes reported as a “picky eater” at pediatric wellness visits Persistently reported as a “picky eater” at pediatric wellness visits

What to do if you suspect your child is a picky eater:

  • Always eat with your child. Eating is a social experience! If your child is expected to eat alone he may feel left out or neglected. (“Why do I have to eat if no one else is?”)
  • Stick to a routine. Give your child three meals and two snacks at the same time each day (or about the same time each day, let’s be realistic here).  Offer juice or milk with his meals, not in between, to avoid filling up his tummy and decreasing his appetite. Offer water in between meals to quench his thirst.
  • At meal times, always offer him one to two preferred foods (i.e. hot dog, chicken nugget) and one new food. When he sees his preferred food, he will feel more comfortable with his plate. Try to make the new food something you’re eating as well.
  • Always talk positively about food! Even if you don’t like something, do your very best not to talk negatively about it. For example, “Mmm, these sweet potatoes are so yummy!” NOT “Ugh, these potatoes are mushy and gross!”
  • Make it fun! Get some different dips out for his chicken nuggets – ranch, BBQ sauce, ketchup, mustard! Cut sandwiches out with a cookie cutter. Use food coloring. Serve breakfast, for dinner!
  • Have your child help! Let him pick things out at the grocery store. Have him wash the vegetables or fruit. Let him mix up the batter.

What to do if you suspect your child is a problem feeder:

Works Cited:

  1. Sisson LA, Van Hasselt VB. Feeding disorders. In: Luiselli JK, editor. Behavioral Medicine and Developmental Disabilities. New York: Springer-Verlag; 1989. pp. 45–73.
  2. Palmer S, Horn S. Feeding problems in children. In: Palmer S, Ekvall S, editors. Pediatric Nutrition in Developmental Disorders. Vol. 13. Springfield: Charles C Thomas; 1978. p. 107–129.
  3. Feeding problems in infancy and early childhood: Identification and management
  4. Debby Arts-Rodas, Diane Benoit
  5. Paediatr Child Health. 1998 Jan-Feb; 3(1): 21–27.
  6. Toomey, Kay. Copyright 2000/2010. Picky Eaters versus Problem Feeders.