Candidates for therapy services may have one or several of the following problems:
Poor Weight gain or weight loss
Child eats less than 20 foods, or food preferences become fewer and fewer over time
Child does not eat entire food group or textures, such as meats, vegetables, hard to chew foods or purees
Frequent gagging, choking or coughing at meals that does not go away with time
Meals at home turn into battles, and child does not eat well for others outside the home as well (i.e. daycare)
History of difficulty coordinating breathing and eating
Unable to transition to baby food puree by 10 months
Unable to accept any table foods by 12 months
Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months
Has not been able to learn to drink from a cup by 16 months
Child may not have any oral intake & needs pre-feeding strategies to facilitate readiness to eat
Goals of Feeding Therapy:
Address issues that may negatively impact feeding such as sensory defensiveness, oral motor skills and posture/strength/coordination.
Use of social modeling and positive reinforcement to improve mealtime behaviors.
Use of desensitization, food play and exploration to promote willingness to interact with new foods.
Utilizing the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) and/or Food Chaining approachs to feeding, we encourage children to interact with food in a non-threatening, playful way to increase comfort level with a variety of foods.
Gradually we learn about food properties such as color, shape, texture and progress to smell, taste and consistency for chewing.
Most important….we have fun with food as a way to learn and try new things.