Today marked the last day of 10 days of intensive feeding therapy for my little pumpkin, Bryce. As many of my readers know, Bryce has Down syndrome. Although it is not uncommon for a child who has Down syndrome to have feeding issues, the majority of children who have Down syndrome do not have feeding problems. This just happens to be one of Bryce’s biggest challenges so far.
A little background. Bryce had a lot of trouble learning how to nurse when he was a newborn. I was determined that Bryce would have breast milk to give him the best start in life possible. He was born with the deck stacked against him, with his extra chromosomes and all, so I thought the least I could do was give him a little breast milk. After two months of pumping and bottle feeding, something had to give and Bryce finally figured out how to nurse! Score #1.
Next step was baby food. Bryce was very good at eating baby food and pretty much got stuck there until just before his 3rd birthday. Bryce was eating 7 to 9 jars of baby food a day, and since it was all organic (again the stacked deck of cards) it was not cheap! My husband decided we couldn’t go on like this. At this point we started pureeing everything we were eating. Pureed pizza and tacos are some of Bryce’s favorites. Score#2
Back to today. Now we are trying to get Bryce to eat “meltable solids” i.e. cheetos, veggie straws, wheat thin sticks, etc. He will put them in his mouth (which is a big step instead of tossing them), but he still won’t chew them up. Chewing is the issue. We have finally found a wonderful occupational therapist to help Bryce. Score #3
Here’s a short video of therapy today. Bryce is using a “chewy tube” to dip into cheeto crumbs and practice chewing.