Early Childhood Intervention
This website is a place for families who are facing
challenges pertaining to their child's development and
It is a place to find answers and practical
suggestions. That's what Early Intervention Support is all
Whether a family has a child with a challenging behavior,
a disability or developmental issue, childhood is short - it
should be savored and enjoyed.
Ask a Therapist
We understand developmental milestones and the challenges
of Special Needs children. We spend a great deal of time
with families understanding the inner workings of childhood
routines and interactions. Ask us about your child today!
Ask a Therapist
Problem Feeders Differ from
Unlike picky eating, problem feeding is not a normal part of
child development. Children who are problem feeders often have
inadequate caloric intake, poor weight gain and growth, as well as
vitamin and mineral deficiencies. If left untreated, children who
are problem feeders can suffer from malnutrition, dehydration, and
impaired intellectual, emotional and academic development.
The incidence of feeding disorders in typically developing children has
been reported as 6-40%, while the incidence of feeding disorders in children
with disabilities has been reported to be much higher at 18-80% (Kyong-Mee
Chung, Sung Woo Khang, 2006).
Prolonged, untreated feeding disorders can also result in the disruption
of positive mealtime routines, which can lead to a disruption in
parent-child interactions where less cuddling and positive interactions
occur (Budd, et al 1992).
Problem feeders typically:
- Eat less than 20 foods
- Eat fewer and fewer foods over time until they are limited to about
5-10 foods they will eat
- Refuse foods of certain textures altogether
- Will eat one food over and over, but unlike picky eaters they will
eventually burn out and not go back to eating that food again
- Will not accept new foods on their plate and will not tolerate even
touching or tasting a new food
- Cry, scream and tantrum when new foods are placed on their plate
- Are unwilling to try a new food even after 10 exposures
- Have a rigidity and need for routine/sameness during meals
- Are inflexible about certain foods
Problem feeders will often need extensive therapy from a
multi-disciplinary feeding team (occupational therapist, speech therapist,
nutritionist, psychologist/behavioralist, physician) of which the parents
are an integral part, in order to overcome their feeding problems.
Studies have shown that treatment success and gains at home were largely
due to parental compliance in implementing and following through with
clinicians suggestions and protocols for treatment (Kennedy Krieger
Not sure if your Child is a Problem Feeder or a Picky Eater
Read our article on Picky Eaters for more
Sources Include: Autism and Feeding Problems by Elizabeth Strickland, RD,
LD; Pediatric Feeding Disorders by Kyong-Mee Chung and Sung Woo Khang;
Treating Eating Problems of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and
Developmental Delays by Keith E. Williams and Richard M. Foxx
Parenting Tips in Other Areas Include
Learn More About Early Intervention
Thankfully, there are many ways to deal with childhood developmental
delays and behaviors. These include in-home services, outpatient (you take
your child to a clinic), inpatient (following injury or surgery) and school
based services. Which type of therapy should you choose?
Visit our Therapy Options
area to learn more.
Return to Top