Feeding/Swallowing

Are you extremely frustrated and stressed at mealtimes with your child not eating or
know someone who faces these daily struggles?

We provide evaluation and therapy for children who have difficulties with eating such as
problems with chewing, pocketing food and holding it in their mouth, frequent coughing
and/or choking on food and liquids.

We also provide evaluation and therapy for children who are “problem feeders” which
can be defined as the following:

  • Restricted range or variety of foods, usually less than 20 different foods
  • Foods lost due to food jags are not re-acquired after taking a break, often resulting
    in a decreased number of foods in child’s repertoire
  • Cries and “falls apart” when presented with new foods; complete refusal
  • Refuses entire categories of food texture or nutrition groups
  • Almost always eats different foods at a meal than rest of the family
  • Persistently reported by parent as a “picky eater” across multiple well-child check ups

If your child will only eat a few of the exact same foods daily, refuses to eat or try any
new foods, frequently gags or vomits when touches, smells, or tastes food; they could
potentially benefit from our feeding therapy program.

We also currently work with and have prior patients that were on G-tubes (feeding tubes)
and again have documented great success with these patients.

We begin with an evaluation that involves the parent bringing a set of specified foods
to eat with the parent in the room while the speech-language pathologist documents
observations of the child’s reactions to foods, as well as the child’s ability to manage the
food from an oral motor perspective. Once an evaluation is completed, a detailed report
will be sent to the parent/guardian explaining the finding and results of the evaluation, as
well as therapy recommendations.

All of our speech-language pathologists have received specialized training in the area of
feeding. We have also obtained training in the area of oral placement techniques through
conferences such as with Diane Bahr and Talk Tools.

The feeding therapy is tailored to each child’s needs including any dietary needs,
restrictions, and allergies. The therapy is provided individually and directly involves the
family to explain and demonstrate the approach to increase carryover and success into the
home environment and community. The approach that is used involves a hierarchy that is
followed. One of the goals is to help desensitize children with oral and texture aversions
to numerous foods, to increase the number, type, and diversity of foods that he/she eats.
This hierarchy involves interacting with, tolerating, smelling, touching, and tasting foods.
It is a very fun, play based type of approach. Children are never forced to eat any foods.
One of the most important things for these children is to keep their stress level decreased
because when their stress level increases, their appetite decreases. We do sometimes
get messy during our sessions, but the children thoroughly enjoy it while food begins to
become a positive thing. When therapy typically begins, there is a negative association connected with food.

We provide a significant amount of family training and give specific home therapy meals
for parents to try throughout the week based upon what was targeted during therapy.
We want success and happiness for your child and family. We have been able to make
such great improvements and positive changes for past and present patients. Please read
our testimonials to see specifically how parents have felt about the feeding therapy. We
hope that we have the opportunity to walk hand-in-hand with your child and family in the future.

We are proud and excited about the feeding therapy program. We can provide children
with the individual tailored therapy plans, family involvement and guidance, and our
wonderful speech-language pathologists who have great training and are so caring and
passionate about our patients and their families.