Feeding therapy helps infants and children with a wide variety of feeding difficulties which may include one or more of the following:
- aversion to foods
- extremely picky eaters/limited diets
- oral motor weaknesses interfering with food progression
- limited weight gain or a failure-to-thrive diagnosis
Our Early Intervention specialist, Jeanne Pichoff, LOTR, CLT has 12+ years of experience in treating infants with feeding difficulties. She has obtained additional education to enable her to assist moms and babies who are experiencing difficulties with breastfeeding, in addition to helping infants who are having difficulty effectively bottle feeding. She collaborates with families and outside professionals as needed, like pediatricians and lactation consultants, to achieve optimal outcomes. Jeanne has completed the TOTS: Tethered Oral Tissue Specialty Training and routinely sees babies after tongue tie/lip tie revisions for oral motor training to enable feeding success after the procedure. She is also well versed in helping infants who are having difficulties transitioning from breast or bottle feeding to solid foods. The approach to infant feeding therapy is holistic, examining multiple factors that can influence success, from sensory concerns to oral motor.
Click on the image below to enlarge the chart: “Common Symptoms of Tongue/Upper Lip Tie” created by Louisiana Tongue Tie Support Group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/LouisianaTTSupportGroup).
Toddler, Preschool, and School-Aged Eating/Feeding
Feeding therapy is play-based and examines the sensory and oral motor needs of the child. Our feeding therapists, Alex Alleman, LOTR, and Meredith Brown, CCC-SLP, use the well-known SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding designed by Dr. Kay Toomey. They are also well-trained in oral motor therapy that is sometimes necessary to improve a child’s motor skills used for eating. Parent education and involvement are essential to the process.
Click on the link below to help determine whether or not your child is demonstrating red flags for feeding therapy.
Click on the link below to access some general tips to improve feeding.
When parents give us permission, we like to share stories about children who are currently, or have in the past, benefited from feeding therapy. We think this helps other parents have a better understanding of what feeding therapy is and how it might help their child.
Our first story is about Aven. Aven started our feeding program in September 2016. He was unable to manage foods in his mouth and had a limited diet of 3-4 foods that he would only inconsistently eat. The majority of his calories were consumed through chocolate milk and Pediasure. He was not comfortable touching his preferred foods that were of pureed consistency (often referred to as ‘baby food’). Since he started therapy, many pieces of Aven’s puzzle have been addressed and worked through, not only through direct therapy, but also by his feeding therapist helping to identify possible issues that required medical intervention. Aven’s mom reports that mealtimes are more pleasurable and he is now very comfortable being messy. His ability to manage a wider variety of foods is improving and he is eating a greater volume of solid foods instead of the the 3-4 Pediasures he once required. While the journey for Aven isn’t over yet, mealtimes are no longer a fight and he is happier boy now that his nutritional needs are being met. Way to go, Aven!!