Marci Chaves

My thought for the day

As I make my move to a larger space, I sometimes wonder if moving and change is as scary to my patients as it is to me. I have known that I would be moving to a larger space on March 1st 2013. I am scared, however my patients sometimes do not know what they are doing from day to day. How do they feel? The children that I see sometimes go from therapy to therapy, do they know why and are they scared. We change their therapists and they do not know why, sometimes we forget to tell them where we are taking them. I feel scared, and I know where I am going, but do my patients. Change is hard for all of us.
This was just my thought for the day.


Marci ChavesMy thought for the day
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Picky eaters or Food Aversions

I have been coming across many difficulties with food and children for over 20 years, however most recently I have found food difficulties with young children on the rise. How can you figure out if your child has a food aversion, physical difficulty, or they are just picky. Here are some quick tips to help you distinguish between a true feeding problem and just a picky eater.

  1. Does your child gag or throw up upon seeing certain foods?
  2. Do they cry when seeing a bottle and/or certain food?
  3. After eating do they seem uncomfortable, get sick, or cry?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, your child may have a physical problem that is causing there food difficulty, seeing a gastroenterologist, ENT, and/or Allergest may help aide in a possible diagnosis of the causes of the feeding difficulty.

If your child has already been seen by a specialist and they have determined that no physical difficulty is causing the feeding difficulty.
and your child seems to have a problem with:

  1. Various textures of foods.
  2. Will only eat food at a certain temperature. (hot or cold)
  3. Cannot mix foods of various textures, (crunchy and soft together)

This is called a food aversion, and may be sensory or tactile in nature. Which is a problem with various textures of foods.

A picky eater on the other hand eats limited foods but does eat 4-5 different types of foods and different textures and just refuses other foods, no gagging or vomiting is noted. In that case, introducing new foods periodically should help.

However, if the feeding difficulty is interfering with every day life, the child is not getting enough nutrition and they are vomiting and/or gagging when eating, A Feeding Specialist ( Speech-Languge Pathologist) who specializes in programs to desensitize the oral cavity and can work on feeding should be contacted.

Marci ChavesPicky eaters or Food Aversions
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Binky’s, Bottles, Blankies, Oh My

As I walk around my neighborhood, minding my own business, yeah right, I notice many, many things, and some are downright scary. Many of you may think I am talking about teenagers, or crime, lol, but no I am talking about something much more serious, and ominous. The dreaded three B’s —– . What are they you might ask, well if you take a hint from up above they are binky’s (pacifiers), bottles, and blankets. You might be saying to yourself those are all items that are perfectly fine, however when used in two’s or evens three’s they definitely become scary. Let’s start by walking around a mall for instance; you will see children of walking and talking age with a bottle in a hand, pacifier in the mouth, and a blanket in the other hand.

Now that we have that picture in mind, let’s start with communication, you cannot communicate if a pacifier is always present in your mouth, you will point usually, grunt, and cry, which all can be done with the pacifier tucked safely in your mouth. Another problem with pacifier’s is that they were made to pacify infants, yes infants, not toddlers and/or preschoolers, and might I add some school age children use them as well. OH MY!!! Due to the increasing age of the children using the pacifiers they not only stunt speech development, they push against the upper palate and shift teeth making a tongue thrust evident as well as problems with dentition. There are also social issues as well, which I will discuss later on.

Now on to the dreaded bottle, which many think are perfectly acceptable up to age 4 or more, OH MY! This also causes complications with speech and with communication, especially if the bottle is always used. A child should be off a bottle by the age of one, and should be drinking from a cup. Unfortunately, the bottle makers have disguised bottles in the form of yes that’s right, sippy cups! What’s that you say, yes sippy cups now resemble bottles at least the top does, which is what many children are drinking out of. Due to these factors, children are not properly using their oral cavities and speech may be impacted as well as social issues.

Okay, here is the last one, and many of you will say, I am a mean horrible shrew, (I’ve heard it before, although it may be true, please listen anyway)

Blankets, or blankie’s as many call them, they are held on to, carried everywhere, and cannot under any circumstances be pulled from the children’s hands, unless they are sleeping. These blankets, you may say cannot possibly aide in speech and language difficulties, well I disagree, this is where we will discuss social implications for this as well as binky’s and bottles.


When I see children with one or more of these items, adhered to an appendage, I notice many things. One of the biggest ones is delays in speech and language which we spoke about above. However, another one is being able to calm themselves when things do not go their way. Children within and outside of my practice, always are holding on to something, they cannot calm down without these items, they actually become quite hysterical. Also I have watched children on playgrounds, hit other children when these items are taken away from them. Which brings me to the biggest point, which is these children do not know how to interact socially within their peer groups. Children being raised with all these external items to aide in soothing them are having a great deal of trouble interacting in social situations with their peers.

Today’s children are finding it quite difficult to calm down, take criticism, and oh my here is the BIG ONE—–LOSE! Which will be my blog for next time.

I hope this blog helped to bring up subjects which you may have been thinking about, and helped to answer some questions you may have had in regard to this topic.

Till next time

Marci ChavesBinky’s, Bottles, Blankies, Oh My
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