We understand that a child’s struggles with eating affect the whole family. It can be frustrating, confusing and overwhelming at times. We can help your family develop a more positive relationship with food so that mealtimes become a source of connection rather than conflict.
We look beyond faltering growth as the only indicator of concern and value parental instincts in identifying feeding concerns.
When working with families we draw from our knowledge of evidence-based practice as well as a large network of information provided by parents, young people, teachers and other professionals working with your child in order to provide the most suitable intervention and establish clear goals for treatment. Where appropriate we work in collaboration with all members of your child’s support network to ensure that change is supported and sustained across all environments that your child is engaged with.
Foremost in our minds is the need to respect each child’s autonomy while ensuring they receive a healthy intake of vital nutrients.
Psychologists are experts in human behaviour. Often we know what behaviours we would like to be doing more, but it is really difficult to do them or to sustain behaviour change in the long term. This is because our behaviour is influenced by our past experiences, our beliefs and our feelings. A psychologist can assist you to identify the experiences, beliefs and feelings that are getting in the way of making sustained long term behaviour change that will benefit your health and can teach you skills to manage these barriers successfully.
Dietitians are experts in the science of human nutrition. They assist individuals and families to challenge unhelpful beliefs and correct myths about eating and food through education about the science behind eating behaviour such as appetite and how the body uses food. Dietitians can assist in supporting child growth and development and help clients to develop a healthy relationship with food and accept their natural body size. Dietitians provide eating support, practical guidance and medically sound strategies to improve health and wellbeing and support the development of eating competence.
Eating is a complex physical skill. Occupational Therapists are experts in the functional skills needed to eat successfully. They can assist with a range of eating related skills such as body control, balance, muscle tone, attention to task, and oral motor skills. They also assess the sensory issues, such as textures, smells, sights and tastes that impact our relationship with food and assist individuals to develop the sensory integration required to eat well. As a result, Occupational Therapists assist in reducing the stress that can lead to difficulties with eating, and increasing the enjoyment experienced from meal times.
Paediatricians are experts in the organic issues that influence child health and development. Physical health issues such as reflux, allergies, respiratory difficulties and ENT issues can influence the development of feeding competence through disrupting the natural process for skill development or by making eating an unpleasant or aversive experience. A paediatrician can provide a thorough medical assessment of your child to identify and address any physical health issues that might be impacting on their feeding skills, ensuring that as they learn to develop a new relationship with food that they do not continue to have negative or aversive experiences of eating.
The Talbot Centre offers expert multidisciplinary services for individuals and families affected by feeding disorders.