Our son Jake (pictured left) is nearly four years old and he has quite a story to tell. He was born with tracheomalacia, which is when the cartilage in the windpipe (trachea) has not developed properly. Instead of being rigid, the walls of his trachea were floppy, which made it very hard for him to breathe. As a result of his tracheomalacia, he would silently aspirate on all liquids and solids. He's had to endure three swallow studies, countless trips to the emergency room, and a bronchoscopy with a biopsy when he was just six months old.
Because he had silent aspiration, he had a lot of difficulty transitioning from purees to table foods. In fact, he was still eating baby food well past two years old. The aspirating made him extrememly fearful of new textures. He wasn't just a "picky eater", he would gag, scream, cry, and have extreme tantrums when presented with a new food. It has been said that a worried mother does better research than the FBI and I have to agree. Thankfully, my reserarch led me to C.S. Mott Children's Hospital and the University of Michigan Healthcare system. It was there that we finally got Jake the help he needed. We are very fortunate to have found such wonderful, caring feeding therapists so close by. Having a child with a feeding disorder can leave you feeling overwhelemed and alone. We're so glad to be working with Dr. Amy Drayton and Dr. Rachel Knight. With their compassion, patience, and expertise, we no longer have to take this journey alone.