Infant Feeding and Oral Motor Issues 

Does My Child Need Intervention?

Your child may need intervention if:
​* Your baby is having difficulty latching or falling asleep while feeding
* You suspect your child has Ankyloglossia (or tongue, lip or cheek tie) or recently had a tie released
​* Your child is not gaining weight adequately 
* Your child has reflux, gagging, hiccups often
* Mom is finding feeding painful
* Child is a mouth breather 
* Colic Symptoms 
​* Excessively gassy

Did You Know

  • The picky eating epidemic may be reducing children’s capacity to learn. Forty percent of the diet of American children is made up of empty-calorie foods. A study of twins found the fussy eaters tend to have lower IQs that their siblings who ate better (Dorfman, Kelly).
  • Ninety percent of recurrent ear infections are caused by food allergies to food and can be prevented (Dorfman, Kelly)
  • Extreme moodiness is one symptom of food intolerance. Some children respond to simple diet changes and can avoid medication and other treatments ​(Dorfman, Kelly). 
  • Click here to learn more!
  • Feeding difficulty in infancy may be an early sign of Autism (Keen, 2008; Laud, Girolami, Boscoe, & Gulotta, 2009).
  • As high as 90% of children with Autism are reported to have feeding difficulties! (Kodak & Piazza, 2008), Aspergers, ADD, ADHD, or PDD-NOS also typically struggle with nutritional feeding problems

​Poor diet                            

    • ​Food intolerances     
    • Chemical sensitivities   
    • Exposure to neurotoxins                       
    • Nutritional deficiencies  
    • Food allergies           
    • GI disorders                     
    • Frequent illness and infection

                                                                              

The Role of the SLP in Infant and Child Feeding

Speech Pathologists with special training are able to identify issues that may impede feeding ability by performing a functional analysis of sensory-motor control during feeding. Tongue-tied babies are often missed at birth, and often, there are other structural and tone issues that accompany babies with tongue and lip ties. This is found more in males than females and is prevalent in 10.7 % of the population 

In fact, untreated tie issues can lead to:

* Poor dental development (high palate, tongue thrust, crowding, malocclusion)
* Later speech delays and/or articulation issues
* Frequent middle ear infections
* Airway issues (mouth breathing leads to snoring & sleep apnea)
* Picky eating and prolonged meal times (gagging, food refusal, difficulties with chewing)
* Oral Motor issues (Poor chewing, tongue and lip mobility, open mouth posture, tooth grinding, headaches)
* Underweight / failure to thrive
* GI issues (reflux and constipation)

Tie restrictions have been in place in utero for months. Releases are only the first step in correcting the issue. We have special training in how to re-train the muscles that will help develop palate shape, jaw movement, tongue, and lip strength/ range of motion.

​There may also be a need to consult with other professionals. in order to completely remediate the underlying issues causes by poor oral habits and tie issues such as ENT, dentist, allergist, pediatrician, GI doctor, craniosacral therapist, or a chiropractor.