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Feeding Therapy for Kids

Our pediatric team is highly skilled in working with families of infants and children with feeding difficulties at all stages of development. Therapists can develop and improve sucking and latching on for breast/bottle feeding issues, improve oral-motor skills, increase tolerance for advanced textures and table foods, and reduce oral aversion symptoms. If sensitivity to texture and certain foods is a concern, the pediatric therapy team (collaboration between speech therapist, occupational therapist, and/or physical therapist) will educate and explore options for parents to reduce mealtime stress and anxiety. Our team offers thorough evaluations and 1:1 sessions with our pediatric speech-language pathologist or occupational therapist based on your child’s individual needs. Group feeding sessions are offered periodically throughout the year for children who would benefit from positive peer interactions to advance mealtime skills. Check our website frequently for pediatric group updates.

Children with feeding and swallowing problems have a wide variety of symptoms.

The following are signs and symptoms of feeding and swallowing problems in young children:

  • arching or stiffening of the body during feeding
  • irritability or lack of alertness during feeding
  • refusing food or liquid
  • failure to accept different textures of food (e.g., only pureed foods or crunchy cereals)
  • long feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)
  • difficulty chewing
  • difficulty breast feeding
  • coughing or gagging during meals
  • excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose
  • difficulty coordinating breathing with eating and drinking
  • increased stuffiness during meals
  • gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality
  • frequent spitting up or vomiting
  • recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections
  • less than normal weight gain or growth

As a result, children may be at risk for:

  • dehydration or poor nutrition
  • aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway) or penetration
  • pneumonia or repeated upper respiratory infections that can lead to chronic lung disease
  • embarrassment or isolation in social situations involving eating **(ASHA; www.asha.org)

With early intervention and experienced advice and intervention, pediatric feeding problems can be significantly improved or resolved. Contact us for a thorough evaluation today!