Is this child abuse?

Kate - posted on 10/02/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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The child was born with a craniofacial syndrome that prevented their mouth from closing, so they couldn't eat. They had to use a g-tube for feeding. The child had surgery and is now and although can't eat solids, is totally capable of eating purees. The mom takes them to a local feeding clinic. The child is sometimes uncooperative. The mom is told to hold the spoon to the child's mouth until they opened it. To hold the hands gently down and to hold the head still if the child turned away from the spoon. To not say a word or show any emotion until they take a bite. The child can't get down from the high chair or play with anything until they take a bite. The child is 4 years old.

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Ev - posted on 10/03/2015

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Jamie--

Did you read the post thoroughly? This child is in a clinical setting for therapy for eating. So it is part of the program. He/she had to learn because they ere tube fed for so long. Its not cruel. Its also a behavior modification as well.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/04/2015

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It really is no different a process than getting a baby used to solids. Mom uses the same tactics, holding baby's hands down, not removing the spoon...it may seem more extreme due to the age of the child in this case. However, it is training a new skill that the child was unable to perform previously. The only difference is that a child who was previously tube fed will take a bit more time and patience.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/04/2015

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It really is no different a process than getting a baby used to solids. Mom uses the same tactics, holding baby's hands down, not removing the spoon...it may seem more extreme due to the age of the child in this case. However, it is training a new skill that the child was unable to perform previously. The only difference is that a child who was previously tube fed will take a bit more time and patience.

Sarah - posted on 10/03/2015

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I think when they mean "show no emotion" they mean, don't cry or beg or anything. It is about teaching a skill and the praise comes after the behavior

Jamie - posted on 10/03/2015

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Oh my, that poor baby. As for your question, I can see a few different points here. First, I can understand not letting this child get down before eating at least some food because it's such a process and sounds like he doesn't get enough. But as for the showing no emotion, that's just ridiculous, mean, and very very sad. All this child should be getting is encouragement, love, kisses, hugs, and nothing but positive reinforcements. As for not letting him down until he eats is harsh. I realize I only feel this way because his life is difficult and deserves easier situations that most children his age but with that said I'd recommend telling him if he eats 4 big bites he can get down to play, I did that with my boys, and more bites the better he gets. But all in all, this child has had it rough and not showing emotions to make him do things is not the right thing to do, but no I do not think it's child abuse...its just mean.

Lamy - posted on 10/02/2015

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At first I thought you were saying she had to force the food down their throat in which case I'd say yes. But unless they are keeping the child there for a ridiculous amount of time, or forcing them to eat huge amounts against their will, then no it probably isn't.

She's also at the feeding clinic asking for their advice so if it was a child abuse concern I wouldn't exactly put the blame towards the mom who's trying to get the best advice she can to keep her child eating.

Sarah - posted on 10/02/2015

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If a speech and behavioral therapist is creating the limits and setting the goals, I see no issue. The child is not alone with one practitioner, and a multi-disciplinary approach is probably best. Why are you concerned? What is your involvement?

Dove - posted on 10/02/2015

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Sometimes special circumstances call for a 'harsher' approach than those of us w/ typically developing children can understand. If this is recommended by the feeding clinic I would be inclined to believe that they have a lot more experience and understanding to this issue than 'I' ever would.

I would not think this is a sign of abuse at all.

Ev - posted on 10/02/2015

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IF this child is being taken to a clinic for this process then it would be some sort of therapy to get the child to eat things normally. As Shawnn said if there is concerns here, call the authorities.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/02/2015

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Starving the child would be abuse. Using different methods to feed? Necessary. If you are that concerned, contact local authorities, not a random online group

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