Individual feeding treatment is typically provided on a weekly basis by an occupational therapist or a speech-language pathologist. The goal of treatment is to address the individual goals of the child but also to support families, provide resources, and help parent/care-givers establish an effective home-based program. Since feeding disorders often develop from a combination of medical/physiological, developmental, behavioral, and psychosocial factors, our trained feeding therapists have experience working with children with a variety of medical diagnosis (i.e., GERD, FTT, cardiac, pulmonary, cleft palate/ lip), breastfeeding concerns, oral motor delays, sensory-based feeding disorders, and other contributing factors that may need to be supported during therapy intervention.
The feeding evaluation is completed by a specially trained occupational therapist and/or speech pathologist. The assessment includes review of medical history, reports from other healthcare providers, and parent concerns. The therapist(s) work with the child and the family to assess and address the multiple factors involved with eating. Based on the evaluation, recommendations are made for individual feeding treatment, home programming, and/or parent consultation.
How Do I Know If My Child Needs An Evaluation?
If your child presents with some of the following symptoms they may have a feeding disorder:
Ongoing poor weight gain (rate re: percentiles failing) or weight loss
Breasting feeding concerns that have been unable to be addressed by lactation specialist
Ongoing choking, gagging, or coughing during meals
Ongoing problems with vomiting
More than one incident of nasal reflux
History of traumatic choking incident
History of eating and breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
Inability to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age
Inability to accept any table food solids by 12 months of age
Inability to transition from breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age
Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or food group
Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
Family is fighting about food and feeding (i.e., meals are battles)
Parent repeatedly reports that the child is difficult for everyone to feed
Parental history of an eating disorder, with a child not meeting weight goals
Gastrostomy (g-tube) or naso-gastric (ng-tube) dependence