How feeding impairment affects a person’s daily life
Feeding is an important self-care skill, commonly delayed in children with severe visual impairments. Due to vision loss, it is reported that some of these patients tend to prefer drinking smooth liquids rather than solid foods. This is because vision loss can cause oral hypersensitivity, causing these visually impaired patients to gag or vomit when attempting to eat solid foods. As a result, eating solid foods takes an inordinate amount of time for them. In addition, consuming only fluids may lead to malnutrition.
Malnourished children tend to experience developmental delays, weight-loss, and illnesses resulting in lack of protein, calories, or other key nutrients. There are both short-term and long-term implications of malnourishment in children. With regards to the short-term focus, young children who are malnourished may face immune and growth implications. Immune implications mean that the child’s immune system is weak and they are more susceptible to infectious diseases. Lack of nutrients in their diet also leads to a deficiency in growth, as nutrients are an important aspect of fueling the body’s growth. Long-term growth implications include limiting the total bone growth, as well as never being able to regain the lost growth potential once they age. Cognitive long-term implications include delays in motor and cognitive development, such as attention deficit disorder, decreased IQ scores, learning disabilities, and reduced social skills.
An individual with a feeding impairment may have difficulties feeding oneself due to having a significant pain, or experiencing poor strength and dexterity in their upper limbs. To assist them, feeding devices such as modified utensils are available for use. These adaptive eating utensils are available to help make this individual’s life easier when feeding oneself. Modified utensils are one example of adaptive eating accessories, as others include plates, bowls, and cups. Daily living is improved as these adaptive utensils and accessories are larger, bendable, or weighted. Flatware and cups can be suctioned or screwed-down for those with poor fine motor skills.
Overall, a feeding impairment can have several short-term and long-term implications if not attended to at an early age. To avoid malnourishment,adaptive utensils and accessories are made available to encourage patients to regain their independence as they are now able to feed themselves.
Eligibility Criteria for Disability Tax Credit for those suffering from Feeding Impairment
The feeding impairment section does not include identifying, shopping, or procuring food. However, feeding does include preparing food. These preparations are not inclusive to the time associated to dietary restrictions or regime, even when these are required due to an illness or health condition. To be considered as markedly restricted in feeding, examples include requiring tube feedings, all or most of the time (at least 90% of the time). In addition, the patients require an inordinate amount of time to prepare meals or feed themselves on a daily basis. Medical doctors or occupational therapists are appropriate qualified practitioners for this section.
There are several steps involved in claiming the disability tax credit for feeding impairment, and certain conditions need to be met.
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