Pediatric Feeding Therapy in Fort Smith Arkansas
Telebites offers Pediatric Feeding Therapy in Fort Smith Arkansas
Telebites Virtual Pediatric Feeding Center has begun offering pediatric feeding therapy services in Fort Smith, AR. Children who are having a hard time chewing or swallowing food can benefit from feeding therapy. TeleBites was founded by a Pediatric Speech Pathologist and Feeding Specialist with a background in treating children with feeding and swallowing impairment age birth through adulthood. Our licensed and credentialed pediatric feeding specialists bring our expertise to the safety and comfort of your home, which makes it easy for parents and children to get the help they need.
About Fort Smith Arkansas
Fort Smith, AR is a city on the Arkansas River in northwest Arkansas. Fort Smith bills itself as the place “where the new south meets the old west.” Located on the Arkansas-Oklahoma border. The town served as a military post during the frontier era. Its first fort was built at Belle Point, where the Arkansas and Poteau rivers meet. The Fort Smith Museum of History is located here and shares the unique history of this area and battles fought here.
Does my child have a feeding disorder?
Many times it is difficult to determine if a child has a feeding disorder. Feeding and swallowing impairment in children is one of the most challenging things that parents will ever experience. There is a process to learning to eat and drink.
We must chew food properly or move liquid around in our mouth with closed lips in order to swallow. Babies and toddlers learn this process by sucking while breast or bottle feeding. They then must learn how to eat solid foods and drink from a cup. They may have some trouble at first and might spit food back out or gag on new foods and drinks. This is normal and should go away with practice.
A child with a feeding disorder will continue to have trouble mastering these skills. Some children will eat only certain foods, or take a long time to eat. This can be another sign of a feeding disorder.
Dysphagia is when a child has trouble swallowing food or liquids, including saliva. Swallowing happens in three stages. A child can have a problem in one or more of these stages. They include:
Oral phase - Oral phase is when the tongue starts the transportation of the food towards the pharynx
Pharyngeal phase - Pharyngeal phase is when food and liquid are passed through the throat and into the esophagus .
Esophageal phase- Esophageal phase is when food and liquid travels from the esophagus into the stomach.
Characteristics of pediatric feeding disorders:
My child will only eat a few specific foods
My child frequently gags or vomits when presented with certain foods
My child spends an average of 45 minutes or more to finish a single meal
I have to coax, bribe, or threaten punishment to get my child to eat
My child coughs or seems to be choking while eating or drinking
My child holds food in their mouth for a long time before swallowing
My child is struggling to gain weight
My child is refusing to take their bottle or breast feed
My child will put food in their mouth and begins to chew it, but then takes or spits it out
My child will only eat specific brands of their favorite food
I am overwhelmed with how challenging it is to feed my child
If your child is exhibiting any of these behaviors, we recommend booking a consultation to see if your child may have a pediatric feeding disorder