Health Plus: Oral sensory - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Oral sensory


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Some kids are more than just picky eaters. They have serious issues with things like the texture and taste of food.

In Health Plus, how a unique program is offering the children and their parents a solution.

At 2-years-old, Roosevelt Grisby, Junior is making meal time tough on Mom and Dad.

"He started not wanting to eat. It didn't get any better. It got kind of worse," said his mom, Maryah Cockhren.

"It became very frustrating for us because we were worried like how healthy is he going to be?" said his dad, Roosevelt Grisby.

That's where a unique program at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo comes in to help.

Since June, Roosevelt and his parents have been a part of the weekly Sequential Oral Sensory class.

The feeding program helps a child interact with food in a playful, stress-free way.

"My child isn't gaining weight appropriately or I'm really noticing that as we're transitioning to table foods there is difficulty navigating certain textures. There are kiddos that are gagging when things are getting thicker or there's a mixed texture involved," said Thea Kurtz, a  pediatric occupational therapist.

Kurtz, who has special certification for the program, says children as young as six months can benefit from the hands-on approach that involves modeling what parents can do at home.

"I start with a checklist of about 30 things and the first one is food being in the room and the very last one is out of 33 steps is it actually going in their mouth and them consuming," said Kurtz.

Roosevelt's parents are convinced it works.

"He's eating. I mean he's putting the food into his mouth whereas before he wasn't doing that. He was like really scared of even touching it," said his mom.

The progress is as satisfying to his parents as the food he's now eating on his plate.

A doctor's referral is needed to enroll a child in the program.

Online reporter/News Anchor: Tara Thomas


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