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Feeding Therapy

We create individualized plans that are catered towards the needs and goals of each child, utilizing a variety of infant and pediatric feeding therapy techniques.

What is pediatric feeding disorder?

According to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health (ICF), Pediatric feeding disorder is defined as “a disturbance in oral intake of nutrients, inappropriate for age, lasting for more than 2 weeks and associated with 1 or more 4 areas”:

  1. Medical
  2. Nutritional
  3. Feeding skill
  4. Psychosocial

Feeding disorders are diagnosed by a Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) or Occupational Therapist (OT) trained in infant, toddler, and/or child feeding. There are a variety of reasons why a family would come to a trained professional for feeding therapy.  An SLP or OT can target specific oral-motor skills (movement of tongue, lips, jaw, and/or cheeks) that cause difficulty with eating, help with avoidance behaviors that interrupt family-life, and create a plan to help families approach feeding in a realistic way.

young child eating an apple

Reasons to contact a feeding therapist:

  • Dysphagia- A medical diagnosis
  • Prolonged tube-feeding resulting in poor oral-motor skills
  • Behavioral issues during feeding times (i.e., food refusal, avoidance behaviors)
  • Poor weight gain
  • Stressful or prolonged mealtimes
  • Structural issues (i.e., Tongue-tie, genetic disorders, etc.)
  • Sensory issues (difficulty with textures, sensitivity to touch, and smells of different foods)
  • Choking, gagging, or vomiting during mealtime
  • Limited variety of foods (“picky eating”)
  • Weak oral-motor skills (limited tongue movement, poor jaw strength, etc.)
  • Difficulty transitioning to ‘table foods’
  • Difficulty chewing food
  • Difficulty transitioning from a bottle

How can our therapists help?

We meet your child and your family where you currently are on your feeding path and partner with you and any relevant specialists to make eating and meal-times a fun, happy experience, so your child can grow to their fullest potential.

Our therapists are trained to use a variety of feeding methods and approaches, including:

  1. Adapted Baby-Led Weaning
  2. Debra Beckman Oral Motor Protocol
  3. Food Chaining
  4. Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Approach
  5. Tethered Oral Tissues (TOTs)/Tongue Ties

Because of how specialized our therapists are in their feeding approaches, we emphasize to all families that we create an individualized plan that is catered towards the needs and goals of each child. Our therapists pull from each feeding program to utilize an effective method to treat children.