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The holidays can be a challenging time for kids who have trouble trying new foods, are selective eaters, or have a swallowing disorder. Fortunately, there are several ways to ease the difficulty for both you and your child around holiday meals. Our friends at Spaulding Outpatient Center for Children in Lexington are here to help.
by Dana Pagliuco, M.S. CCC-SLP and Courtney Shea OTR/L
The holidays can be a hectic time for everyone. The minute Halloween ends, it seems the countdown to Christmas and Hanukah officially begins with Thanksgiving strategically smacked in the middle. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, wrapping, and party-going seem to consume us until January. It’s no surprise that this time can be extra stressful for children and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, particularly for those with feeding difficulties.
Fortunately, there are several ways to ease the difficulty for both you and your child around holiday meals. The weeks and days leading up to big meals can be a great time to incorporate some therapeutic activities to help your child make some feeding break throughs.
Additionally, there are some strategies that can help ease challenges on the day of the holiday meal so that it can be as smooth and as enjoyable as possible!
With the rush of the holiday season, it can be easy to overlook the true value of the holidays: spending quality time amongst the people you love the most. Take this time to celebrate your family for all its ups and downs. Reflect on all the hard work you’ve accomplished over the past year and set new goals for the year to come. Cherish the sweet moments and learn from the tough moments. Add these new tips to your ever-growing repertoire of great parenting skills, and if your child tolerates, smells, touches or even eats a new food this season, don’t forget to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
Dana Pagliuco, M.S. CCC-SLP
Courtney Shea OTR/L
If you have concerns regarding feeding or swallowing difficulties in your child, please contact the Spaulding Outpatient Center for Children in Lexington, MA at (781) 860-1742 to schedule a comprehensive multi-disciplinary feeding evaluation.
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