Almost 3 year old with multiple medical issues leaning to feed
I have an almost 3 year old daughter who was born with CMV and had many, many medical issues. She was trached, and given a g-tube at 3 months and spent first year and a half in hospital with life threatening illnesses. At 18 months she was finally labeled medically stable enough to bring home but was on a ventilator until 7 months ago. Since her homecoming, she has come a long way to recovery. One of the many issues we are dealing with now is her feeding. She had a swallow study about a year ago which cleared her for feeding (results showed her swallow was delayed but functional). We have been working with speech therapy and Occupational therapy on feeding issues and have only recently been able to even get food in her mouth. Now that we can get the food in her mouth, we have the problem of her not swallowing the food. She will finally open her mouth for a spoonful of rice cereal but she lets it pool in her mouth until she gags and accidentally swallows (with her mouth wide open) or if we are lucky, she will suck her thumb and it goes down fine. I know she is capable of closing her mouth because she blows kisses but she does not close it often and unless she is sucking her thumb, she does the dentist swallow with her mouth as wide as she can get it. I have tried everything I can think of and taken every bit of advice from the therapist but I don't know how to get her to close her mouth. I think if she can do this, swallowing will be easier on her and feeding may come a little easier as well. Is there any direction you can send me in to try and resolve this feeding issue? Any mouth exercises or other areas to investigate?
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