My 2 year old daughter recently got diagnosed with a developmental delay and being on the autism spectrum. Since a few months old when I began trying to feed her solids, she would always gag and throw up. When she would cry too much, or laugh too much she would vomit.
When we started taking her to doctors last year they told us she had a hyper sensitive gag reflex and we need to desensitize it.

We’ve been doing OT for months, no changes. She’s very picky, she will only try things on her time but in the event that she does actually eat anything other than yogurt or pudding, she chews and spits it out before swallowing or it goes too far back and she immediately throws up. There’s absolutely no way she can swallow textured foods. She mainly survives off of bottles of milk. How can we help her to progress to solid food?

2 Answers 2


There's definitely a medical advice aspect to this that I can't address other than to suggest you talk to her doctors about adding feeding therapy as well as general OT.

On the non-medical side of things, you can encourage her to desensitize in the natural way that most babies do- putting things in her mouth herself so it is done to her comfort level. Encourage her to brush her own teeth, offer chewy tubes and similar items that are meant for mouthing, offer popsicles and similar shaped foods for self-feeding under supervision.


Our daughter vomited several times per week until she was around 5, even being primarily fed through a tube in her stomach. I know it's frustrating, but mostly you've just got to keep doing what you're doing. As a parent, you know your child better than anyone. Look out for her triggers, be creative, and be patient. Try not to judge her against typical children. She will go at her own rate in her own time, and even if she never gets past yogurt and pudding, she will be just fine.

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