Occupational Therapy: Behavioral Management Techniques to Support Age-Appropriate Eating in a 5-Year-Old Child
Occupational therapy (OT) is a therapy that focuses on enabling people to engage in meaningful activities of daily life. In the case of a 5-year-old child who refuses to eat, OT can be used to provide behavioral management techniques to help the child resume age-appropriate eating. The most effective technique for this particular case is to introduce one type of nutritious food at a time until acceptance is achieved (Lambert & Ward, 2016). This technique is based on the principles of habituation, desensitization, and stimulus generalization, which suggest that introducing foods one at a time and in a gradual manner will increase the likelihood of the child accepting and consuming the food (McDonald, 2017). To ensure successful habituation of the food, providing motivating reinforcements to the child during mealtime sessions is also recommended (McDonald, 2017). These reinforcements can be in the form of positive verbal reinforcement, points, or rewards, which are given to the child for. Cont…
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