What is Feeding Therapy?
Your investment in your child’s feeding through this type of therapy helps children learn to accept new foods, increase the amount of food they are eating, and accept new textures of food.
Approximately 25-35% of average children will have mild feeding problems (Leung, 1994). Children with Autism have an extremely high rate of feeding difficulty, with 90% of children with Autism having some reported difficulty with feeding or foods, and 70% reported as at least picky or very selective eaters (Kodak & Piazza, 2008; Keen, 2008).
Feeding Therapy in infants and small children may look different and involve more oral motor exercises and techniques to facilitate appropriate movement of the jaw, tongue, lips, palate, and cheeks. Sensory tools may be used to stimulate and train the muscles involved with feeding.
Our evaluation is extremely comprehensive. We look at feeding across the lifespan because the feeding issues you are seeing now likely originated someplace in the past unless there was an accident of some sort. We look at a variety of factors that contribute to feeding issues including:
- Past feeding and medical history
- Chewing skills
- The structure and function of the mouth (including the jaw, tongue lips, and cheeks)
- How their body’s sensory system responds to different food textures
- The diet
The evaluation requires families to complete paperwork ahead of time so we can review it as well as send us videos of your child eating at home. We need time to review these before your appointment. The evaluation is 90 minutes and after it is complete we will have a follow up meeting on the phone to discuss the results and give you our final recommendations on what we see are the major issues as well as how to remediate them.
DOES MY CHILD NEED FEEDING THERAPY?
If you are on this page, it would suggest that you are seeking help! Perhaps you have a picky eater, but there may be more to it than that. Our in depth evaluation and report (usually about 11-17 pages) provide a lot of insight and careful analysis as to why your child isn’t eating or is “picky”. The more we learn about feeding, the less I think of children as “picky” Only 8% of feeding issues are behavioral based. Yes that means that your child isn’t “just doing this to annoy you” – it is so much more involved!
Feeding is one of the most complex actions we perform as human beings. It requires all of our organs, 8 tongue muscles, coordinating respiration/breathing, and then add on top of it that food is a sensory experience. You can easily have a recipe for disaster! Our team has some of the most knowledgable and well trained staff when it comes to feeding.
It is so important to get this right when you evaluate because without the proper training, it is easy to dismiss certain behaviors or movements when in actuality they may mean something else entirely! We start all our feeding therapy with a thorough and comprehensive oral motor and feeding assessment. We are looking and all aspects of your child’s feeding ability (environment, posture, how they move their muscles, how they are breathing, how they react to sensory input). It is a multifaceted evaluation and you will leave with a really clear sense of what the problem truly is.
Take out quiz to determine if your child needs help! Only then can you make a plan to address those issues.
There are a number of potential causes for picky eating in childhood and we are here to identify those reasons during our comprehensive evaluation.
Schedule your FREE consultation today!