Feeding is a complex, yet utterly necessary act that develops rapidly over the first few years of life. It involves gathering, processing, and transporting food in the oral cavity to prepare for a swallow, all while protecting the airway and routing food into the esophagus.
Knowing when you have a feeding issue can be hard to distinguish.
Challenges with and/or disruptions to typical feeding development can be the source of mealtime stress. Feeding therapy can help to manage the secondary symptoms that occur while also addressing the root cause of mealtime disruption. There are many possible ways this process shows disruption, including but not limited to:
- challenges keeping food in oral cavity,
- difficulty processing or chewing foods
- slow feedings
- aversions to tastes, textures, or temperatures
- negative mealtime behaviors
- history of prematurity or experience with feeding tubes
- gagging, choking, coughing, and/or recurrent pneumonia.
Therapy sessions are conducted in the home or at your child’s school and vary in length from 25- 50 minutes.
A thorough evaluation of your child’s oral structures, medical and feeding history will be taken, and together with the family, goals will be identified to best support your child’s feeding development; these goals will drive the treatment sessions. Data will be collected to track your child’s progress, as well as changes in their learning pattern.
Caregivers are highly encouraged to participate in therapy sessions.
Your participation in therapy sessions will maximize practice of techniques and nurture a safe and healthy feeding environment. With your active participation in learning strategies to nurture and shape feeding development, your child will benefit daily from a calm and safe feeding environment.