Feeding and Swallowing Disorders
Has your child become a “picky eater”?
Does your child notice when you change brands of foods?
Does your child only drink from specific bottles, sippy cups and have difficulty drinking from open cups or straws?
We have advanced training and specialized skills to fully evaluate your child. Our evaluations will help us understand what may be contributing to your child's feeding difficulties and sensory challenges. We take a collaborative approach to feeding therapy, and often partner with and other service providers such as occupational therapists, nutritionists/dietitians, and primary care physicians to ensure we are treating the whole child.
Carrie specializes in using an Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) approach and often uses TalkTools to diagnose and treat sensory and feeding difficulties.
During feeding and swallowing assessments, we will assess a child's oral feeding abilities and tolerance in order to guide recommendations and therapeutic approaches. A typical feeding assessment consists of:
Parent interview about the child's medical and developmental history
Food inventory to document preferred foods, specific food aversions, and feeding/eating habits
Oral-motor exam to understand the child's oral awareness, strength, and coordination for successful feeding/eating and swallowing
And, if appropriate, we will trial preferred and non-preferred foods to assess acceptance, tolerance, and aversion
Following the evaluation, we will collaborate with parents to develop a personalized treatment plan. We will also determine the appropriate frequency and duration for therapy.
Using an evidence-based and whole-child approach, feeding therapy will focus on increasing your child's oral feeding and tolerance. We will create a calm and safe environment to encourage food exploration while addressing your child's unique needs.
Focus on building the child’s trust with the therapist to increase their motivation to participate
Create a nurturing and safe environment so your child experiences food in positive, fun, and playful ways
Create a treatment program that is highly customized to follow your child’s pace, building upon critical components over time to maximize your child’s success
Feeding therapy also includes home practice programs to continue working on strategies between therapy sessions. We will offer parent education and guidance on how to support your child during regular mealtimes.
To ensure consistency of skill practice between therapy sessions, other team members providing therapy (e.g., OTs, school SLPs) will benefit from attending one of our customized outpatient therapy trainings.