When our young people present with anxieties, it can take different forms. Nathan required full support from our staff when he arrived with us, would only eat in his room and was consuming 36 yoghurts every day.
Shy and reluctant to engage, he could not even cope being near food. This was a great cause for concern to his family as he was anxious around others and in the community. With our help, he followed auditory desensitisation and food desensitisation programmes, occupational therapy and speech and language sessions.
With intense input from our multidisciplinary team. Nathan began to develop a tolerance and interest in food, and started being educated with a small group of his peers. As his interest developed, the Speech and Language Therapy team supported him further through an oral motor skills programme.
He subsequently began to eat a greater variety of foods within the home and in the dining room with others. As the range of what he was eating increased, he would ask for snacks with much more confidence. This led to him going to restaurants in a group, and his family could now hold birthday parties – for the first time Nathan joined in the festivities and the family didn’t fear his reaction to being around others.
His parents even began to take him for walks with friends, without him becoming anxious or depressed.