This discussion will focus on decision making with infants and young children as they show readiness to advance oral skills to expand textures for food. Critical factors include global neurodevelopmental levels of functioning, not chronologic age, although most “typical” children are ready for introduction to spoon feeding by about 6 months of age, per guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics. Photos and videos will be used to demonstrate spoon feeding of smooth to lumpy foods, but not chunky or mixed textures. Principles will be presented to determine readiness of children to pick up food, put it in the mouth, bite off food, chew food, and likely gag occasionally. Transition to cup drinking is part of the learning process. Sensorimotor learning principles and neural plasticity concepts are relevant in clinical decision making. Coaching of parents is a critical factor in achieving follow-up at home, which is the primary location for eating and drinking occur. IDDSI (International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative) descriptions and guidelines for determining logic in texture transitions will be incorporated. Specific concrete measures in simple ways can be very helpful to patients and their caregivers.
The same principles are incorporated with children weaning from tube feedings or advancing oral sensorimotor skills of children who are total oral feeders, always keeping in mind that nutrition and hydration must never be jeopardized. Principles for possible evidence based processes will be incorporated with case studies to exemplify strategies and functional outcomes.
Duration: 60 min, including a Q&A session.
This session has not been pre-approved for CEUs.