DID YOU KNOW? 25% of children experience feeding difficulties during early childhood?
Our team of occupational therapists all have extensive knowledge and experience treating children with a variety of feeding challenges. We utilize different approaches and techniques including the SOS Approach (for sensory-based feeding challenges), the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, and other formal strategies.
There are many reasons why a child can be described as a “picky eater,” and through our evaluative process we determine what those underlying causes are. All of our OTs are experienced and knowledgeable in treating feeding disorders. Our feeding evaluation is very comprehensive and includes the following:
- Written food log
- Clinical observation of meals and/or snacks consisting of both preferred and non-preferred foods
- Parent/Caregiver interview surrounding mealtimes
Together we collaborate on feeding goals for your child. Feeding skill progression is one of the slowest areas to address, and we believe that the best progress is made when the parent/caregiver takes an active role in the therapeutic process at home. During the course of treatment sessions, parents are expected to bring food to each session, which your therapist will list for you. Alternately, you may be required to pay a monthly fee to the clinic for food purchases. (Note: The monthly feeding fee must be paid out of pocket; insurance does not cover this.)
Who can benefit from feeding therapy?
Feeding therapy is ideal for children of any age who demonstrate certain challenges.
- Difficulty transitioning from the bottle/breast
- Infants who do not have a good suck-swallow-breathe pattern or who lose a lot of liquid during meals
- Unable to suck through a straw or drink from an open cup
- Unwilling to try new foods and have a limited repertoire (often referred to as “picky eaters”)
- Unable to eat foods of a variety of colors, textures, and consistencies
- Unable to eat foods of a mixed texture
- Frequent gagging or vomiting at the smell, sight, and/or taste of certain foods
- Anxiety around mealtimes resulting in challenging behaviors
There can be many causes for feeding challenges in children, and our expert team of therapists can determine the underlying causes as well as formulate a comprehensive treatment plan to address these challenges.
Please note that we require families to bring food to therapy and also pay a $20 monthly food fee for the cost of additional and specific foods and supplies we use as part of treatment. It is expected that families will follow through with suggested home programs in order to see the most progress in your child. We believe strongly in a collaborative, patient, and consistent effort to address sensitive feeding challenges.