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What is oral aversion and how do I help my child overcome it?

Children who struggle to try new foods, eat new textures or even put toys / food in their mouth are frequently diagnosed as having ‘oral aversion’. Basically this means they do not want to put anything (or very limited things) in their mouth or sometimes even near their face.

I have worked with babies who are tube fed and won’t mouth anything except a dummy; toddlers who never chewed on toys and never explored their worlds through their mouth; older children and teens who have sensory processing challenges (maybe as part of a larger challenge such as Autism or Down Syndrome) and have been extremely specific about the texture of their foods from an early age (often dry, crunchy, finger foods). These children also often HATE TOOTHBRUSHING!

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