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Help..I have a non-chewing, non-biting nearly 3yr old!

(9 Posts)
phoebeki Tue 08-Feb-05 13:50:43

Can anybody help? DS3 will soon be 3 and I cannot get him to bite or chew properly. His diet consists totally of soft food (fish pie, cottage pie, caulicheese chopped banana etc) If I give him a biscuit he will lick it to death then throw it away. There does not appear to be a physical problem, he has a full set of teeth and can swallow well. I do not have to mash food very finely and he has no trouble swallowing peas, diced carrot etc, he just will not take a bite, chew and swallow!!
Not only is this inconvenient I am also concerened that his speech (which is not great) will suffer.
He has been to see a paediatrician and I was hoping that we would be offered somesort of therapy but was told there was 'no magic' cure(?) and to come back in four months! Well, I've done everything I can think of so I don't expect four months will make any difference. Is there anyone out there who can suggest what I can do?

NotQuiteCockney Tue 08-Feb-05 14:14:53

Could you make a game about it? Take turns taking bites of something tasty?

phoebeki Tue 08-Feb-05 22:23:56

Thanks, that's one idea that I haven't tried yet, perhaps something like a strawberry could be enticing.

Jimjams Tue 08-Feb-05 22:26:27

It could be because his mouth is very sensitive. To help ds1's mouth sensitivities we were told to give hjim thingsw like iice cubes (some chance!) but also to get one of those plant sprayer and spray water into his mouth- he liked that. I'm sure there wer eother exercises as were given that I have totally forhotton- I'll dig the information out and have a look,

Fran1 Tue 08-Feb-05 22:42:58

I would be inclined to push for further investigation rather than waiting four months!

The two together (not chewing, and "not great speech" would be ringing alarm bells with me as they obviously are with you too.

Did you tell him you weren't looking for a magic cure? you are simply looking for some support for your son? God these doc's can be intimidating sometimes can't they?

I do know of one child who refused to eat anything but toast until he was just over three, and even then he only ventured onto kettle chip crisps!!!! and he had not medical probs just a faddy eater.

I hope you can get some further help about this.

phoebeki Tue 08-Feb-05 22:47:41

Well that's interesting. I have an unbelievable job over teeth cleaning too. He definitely hates the texture of crumbs because if he (accidentally) ends up with, for example, biscuit fragments he will spit them out or, as a last resort, have lots to drink to wash them away.

phoebeki Tue 08-Feb-05 23:01:50

Fran1, what further investigations might you be thinking of? I feel resonably content that their is nothing amiss with his swallowing/digestion as he doesn't choke/vomit and is fit and healthy.
I may be wrong but I'm barking up the physcological/bad habits tree. That's why I was hoping for the offer of some type of therapy, maybe similar to that given to people who have had a stroke or illness. I'm sure years back (pre children) I remember seeing a documentary on TV about a clinic for children with various eating disorders where they were working on persuading a school age child to eat a chip (rather than a jar of babyfood).
I think the speech suffers because his jaw/mouth are not as well used as they ought to be. He has a great desire to communicate, is pretty intelligible 75% of the time (you just need to tune the ear in). The language is improving.

Fran1 Tue 08-Feb-05 23:05:38

Sorry phoebeki i didn't mean to scare you, i have had similar situation with a GP in the past and they infuriate me by saying such things as "they don't have the magic cure" to you. Thats why my post seems a little harsh it was aimed at the paed u saw sorry.

I am no expert, but i was thinking speech therapy or similar as you describe, and feel angry that you are made to wait another four months!!

SofiaAmes Wed 09-Feb-05 21:34:28

My ds (4) is really not fond of chewing. In fact the more teeth he got the less he chewed and the more he sucked. He is able to chew when I remind him to chew, but generally if it's the least bit tough, he'll just suck and suck and suck. His speech is fine and it doesn't really affect us or him in any way (other than it takes him forever to eat his meals), so I usually leave him to it. Though occasionally I worry that maybe he's not getting enough roughage and nag him a little to chew by chanting a little chewing rhymen at him (chew chew barney mcgrew), he giggles, says I'm chewing, chews a little and then promptly goes back to sucking.
His speech is fine, he's not a picky eater and is very healthy, so it never occured to me that it might be an indicator of something else. Sorry, I don't have any suggestions, but maybe it helps to know that there are other children out there who are the same.

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