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TRAVEL AND TRANSITION


SENSORY ISSUES RELATED TO FOOD

A surprising number of children have sensory issues related to food. The most common is an inability to tolerate textures. Many children have subsisted on soups, liquids, and purees, and have missed some of the oral-motor milestones related to chewing solids. Nipples used for bottle feeding in many orphanages have large openings, probably to speed feeding. Children fed in this manner develop oral-motor reflexes to prevent choking, but have reduced oral-motor tone. These children may be "open mouthed" in appearance and may drool excessively. When offered conventional nipples, the children have difficulty producing an adequate suck to withdraw the formula. These children may have considerable difficulty tolerating a spoon because of overactive tongue thrust and may become distressed when presented with foods containing any texture (lumps). Usually these difficulties abate within a few weeks, but some children have exceptional difficulties and may benefit from the assistance of a feeding team. In some children, esophageal reflux contributes to food aversions.

 

From THE HANDBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION MEDICINE by Laurie C. Miller. © 2004 by Oxford University Press, Inc. Used by Permission.

 

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