Saturday, July 13, 2013

Judged ....

Wow .. So I had an online article brought to my attention today ... of which I posted to our facebook page ... and my god ... it made my BLOOD BOIL ... no seriously ... I think people could hear me 2 suburbs over hurling abuse at the computer screen..  It is amazing how naive some people really can be .. Fair enough the author of the article was just trying to get a rise out of both sides of the fence ... however .. they basically accused a mother of child abuse .. because her daughter refused to eat anything but chicken nuggets from the age of 2 ...

Now I am sorry ... But I have been in a VERY SIMILAR (not as limited thank christ) situation since Boogie was born ... He has Sensory processing disorder ... and more importantly is a victim of his own brain and fear in which he can't put certain things in his mouth without gagging and throwing them up!!! This is not bad parenting on my part ... It is miss diagnosis on the part of some of our earlier practitioners and practises implemented during his treatments.... Who have since brushed me off and told me it was all in my head ... But to think .. reading the comments this article provoked ... that if someone had a snapshot of my little man's life ... that they would JUDGE ME!!! And consider me to be rendering CHILD ABUSE to my own child .. made me feel sick to the stomach ... for both the parent and the child who had been singled out... And for the thought that I would be judged the exact same way by someone who knows nothing of our life!!!

I do understand that the write up seemed to have a lot missing in regards to information on their particular case.. And you have got to love media outlets and their omissions ... but my goodness ... Accusing the poor woman of CHILD ABUSE??? really?? *sigh* ... Do we judge people that have anorexia?? .. Should we just let them starve themselves? Because some kids with Oral Aversion .. Sensory Processing Disorder  and other feeding difficulties, don't choose to eat this way ... they are imprisoned by it!!!

So I thought .. for those out there .. who actually seek the education, that the trolls judging the poor mother clearly lack ... here it is ... 


Some of the information and our personal perspective on Sensory Oral Aversion :

Oral Aversion is what is experienced when a child is reluctant or refuses to eat or put stuff in their mouth.  If a child has been tube fed for a long time due to prematurity or other illnesses it may also be a root cause of oral aversion. 


So far we have had ALOT of help through a speech-therapist and occupational therapists, through them Boogie has received treatment for his negative associations with food - which has seen him come from being limited to 3 foods to 10-15 (however less when he is sick or in hospital - the root of all evil).  In other cases though, children may strongly dislike the texture of certain foods (our case as well) which involves therapy that decreases his defensiveness so that he or she may feed to receive more calories.

Things you need to know : 

Premature Infants (Just like Boogie) have an increased risk of having oral aversion both when they are breastfeeding and when they mature to solid foods. (Of which ours appeared from birth and didn't leave)


The Symptoms of Oral Aversion are Crying when near or exposed to certain foods,  Gagging,  Vomiting and dry retching, Turning the head away from food or refusing to open up their mouth and Generally being distracted or self distracting when near food.

There are soo many different reasons why babies and children have this oral aversion.  Some cases may be due to illness, trauma and there is often an underlying condition that once treated leaves the child still being orally defensive towards food.  Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists are usually able to do a thorough evaluation of the situation and rule out any factors that may be involved in each individuals situation.


Some Traumas include a medical condition where they have difficulty in swallowing, and the food is not able to pass easily from mouth to stomach.  This can cause the food to get stuck in lungs and oesophagus (throat - yes I know big words :P ) This brings with it a whole other list of symptoms like: Failure to gain weight, Vomiting, difficulty breathing, trouble swallowing or sucking and refusing to eat (oral aversion).

In our case Boogie was born prematurely - diagnosed failure to thrive, was nasal tube fed from birth for the first month, and since has had many health problems, involving tumultuous hospital admissions and trauma. He recently had his tonsils and adenoids out (because they believed it was blocking his throat), in which he suffered a severe trauma (nearly dying from bleeding out into his chest) which has decreased our food groups yet again and he refused to eat at all for 3 weeks.  The perfect mix for oral aversion, or so I am told by ALL of our therapist team.

The treatment, especially in our case is going to be a LONG road to recovery, which may not ever end in normality.  He is underweight, Has Iron deficient anaemia and acute asthma, which stops us from eating at the best of times.  But hopefully now that he has been accepted into the S.O.S feeding team, we might be able to poke our head above water for once.  *keep your fingers crossed for us*  And next time you hear someone judging another parent just because their child doesn't have a healthy diet .. Stop and think that maybe it is for a reason .. Not because they are a child abusing bad parent... We aren't all that bad!! I promise!!! 






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