Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Steps To Eating - and Where Emma is

I have mentioned before that there are 32 steps to eating .. so I thought I would list them...

  • being in the same room
  • being at the table with the food on the other side of the table
  • being at the table with the food 1/2 way across the table
  • being at the table with the food outside of the child's space
  • looks at food when directly in child's space 

  • assists in preparation / set up with food
  • uses utensils or a container to stir or pour food/drink for others
  • uses utensils or a container to stir or pour food/drink outside of own space
  • uses utensils or a container to serve self onto own place/space

  • odours in rooms
  • odour at table
  • odour in child's forward space
  • leans down or picks up food to smell
  • one finger-tip
  • finger-tips, finger-pads
  • whole hand
  • arm, shoulder
  • chest, neck
  • top of head
  • chin, cheek
  • nose, underneath nose
  • lips
  • teeth
  • tip of tongue, top of tongue
  • licks lips or teeth
  • full tongue lick
  • bites off piece and spits out immediately 
  • bites pieces, hold in mouth for "x" seconds and spits out
  • bites, chews "x" times and spits out
  • chews, swallows some and spits some
  • chews, swallows whole food with drink
  • chews and swallows whole food independantly

Some of the touch comes before smelling, but it is important they can tolerate strong smells...

Emma is slowly working her way through the heirarchy.   

Emma already achieves the "eating" stage through her formula drinking - we just need her to start eating solid foods..... 

She tolerates orange juice being at the table with her - but outside her space.

She interacts with soft cubes of food by using fingers or utensils

She is still very hesitant with hard food that shatters - but she can interact with it at the lowest level.

She is in the touch area with purees and fruit/veg with skin on - and that she has shown massive improvement.  She will lick skin on fruit and veg, and will put her whole hand into puree.

The big goal with Emma is to strengthen her visual system so it does not hold her back - so that she can tolerate foods of different colours, shapes, texture etc.

As we work through the heirarchy steps of eating we are also working on
  1. getting her to trust all adults who will help her interact with food - that no-one will ever force her to eat something she does not want to;
  2. Getting her to identify and express her emotions, so the adults present can help her process the feeding issue;
  3. Need her to build her sensory and emotional problem solving skills
  4. As adults, we need to make sure we build structure and success around eating
  5. And the big one - make her know that "she is a person 'learning' to eat, not a person who does not eat.

So there we go... now you know what we are aiming to do with every class and lesson we attend. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting these! I've been researching these steps because I have a particularly poor eater, but not as severe as Emma's problem! Hope you guys are having success!