Then...mom & I started talking about what was happening to the food in our mouths as we chewed up the food. For example...if we were eating a pretzel rod...we would talk about and show (yes...in feeding therapy showing the chewed up food in your mouth is a necessity)...how we use our "Strong teeth" to "chew-chew-chew"...then we would talk about our tongue..."Uh-oh Mr. Pretzel is all smushed now..he needs some help getting off of my teeth...here comes Mr.Tongue"...We would EXAGGERATE moving our tongue to the lateral incisors and while keeping our mouths WIDE OPEN (for better visual effect) ...we show how to move the chewed up bolus (a bolus is food that has been chewed and is ready for swallow) to the tip of the tongue...then we would say "bye-bye" (overly exaggerating this as well) and with our mouth open show how the bolus moves to the back of the tongue and then we swallow...after the swallow we opened our mouths wide and showed the empty oral cavity...tah-dah..
We did lots and lots of this "play" with our food...talking about how some food is crunchy and some food is goey and needs "Mr. Tongue" more to get it to go bye-bye..etc...etc...
So thats it...you might be thinking...???
Well..not exactly...in "Child A's" case we also had to work on increasing oral motor skills through strategically placing food, cutting food into specific shapes in order to elicit a specific oral motor movement, chosing food that has specific textures, etc...etc..but pretty much this little one took off with feeding when we broke food down to his level and had "fun" while we ate. We also taught what to do with the bolus if we were tired of eating...aka we showed how to spit food out of our mouths...Hey :) Thats a lot better than "child A" keeping in the mouth and choking on it later...or making us be the bad people by using our finger to scrap out the leftover bolus...Safety first, right...Safety and then we can think about "manners" later :)
Special note :
Children are like open books..and sometimes we forget they still need lots of pages to be filled with "how to......". Children need models, they need explanations, they need to "Feel experiences" to remember them...especially a 2 year old...God gave us several senses in order to take in our world and the amazing thing about children is that when you explain "how to..." in a way that uses each of those senses...the children REMEMBER and begin doing it! WOW!
Is "Child A" done with therapy...well not quite yet but the little one is getting there and since "child A" has great parents who are carrying over all these "fun mealtime" changes "Child A" is learning quickly. Soon...