Assessments will be scheduled following a complimentary 15-minute phone consultation.
Feeding assessments evaluate your child’s eating and drinking, oral motor skills, food and texture preferences and explore the child and caregiver feeding therapy goals. Assessments are performed to understand the nature of your child's difficulties, determine if treatment is necessary, and recommend an appropriate plan of action.
Assessments take place across two sessions.
Session 1 the caregiver will discuss their child’s medical history and eating journey, including their current food preferences, eating habits, mealtime environment, and the caregiver’s feeding goals for the child.
Session 2 will focus on the child’s abilities in eating and drinking, oral motor examination, food/texture preferences as well as the child's feeding therapy goals - as developmentally appropriate.
Assessments will be done in-person at the child’s home or a mutually agreed-upon location (preschool, grandma’s house, etc.) where feeding challenges arise. A virtual assessment may be completed depending on the child’s age and nature of the concerns.
After the comprehensive feeding assessment, review of caregiver-completed paperwork and pre-recorded videos (as provided by caregiver) an individualized therapy plan will be created and reviewed with the caregiver.
In some cases we may recommend and provide referrals to other professional evaluations that may take place in lieu of or in tandem with feeding therapy.
Following an assessment we will begin making progress on the child’s individualized treatment plan. Sessions are scheduled at a consistent day and time and are typically scheduled weekly. Recommended frequency of treatment depends on the complexity of the child’s feeding needs. Treatment sessions are completed at the child’s home or at a mutually agreed-upon location where feeding challenges occur. Sessions may be completed in-person or virtually depending on the child’s age and nature of the concerns
Our sessions will follow an approach called Responsive Feeding Therapy (RFT) as it is proven to promote the child’s internal motivation to eat, facilitating a lifetime of good eating behaviors, and a positive relationship with food. Based on the Child’s individual needs, elements of other evidenced based approaches will also be incorporated into sessions including Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS Approach), Get Permission, Sensory Motor, Adapted Baby Led Weaning with an emphasis on food exploration and whole family involvement. Regardless of the child’s age, active caregiver participation is essential. Each treatment session is designed to involve the child and caregiver.
Child participation: Children will participate in food exploration, sensory games and learn oral skills to increase their comfort and safety when eating and drinking.
Caregiver training: Caregivers are taught home therapy programs which include strategies and exercises that can be replicated when the therapist is not present. Home therapy programs completed regularly play a crucial role in the child making progress toward their feeding goals.
Once a child is deemed safe for chewing and swallowing developmentally appropriate foods and liquids,* sessions will focus on Caregiver Coaching. These sessions focus on training caregivers to set up mealtime routines and establish an environment to alleviate mealtime struggles. Strategies are tailored to meet the needs and circumstances of the individual child and their family. Consultative services are virtual.
*In certain instances, ruling out safety concerns may be completed using videos of the child eating and drinking during a meal
Group coaching is ideal for caregivers of children who are of a similar age, developmental abilities or environment such as preschool, elementary school, and mother/parent groups. General strategies will be discussed based on the age of the children and environment of the group to improve mealtime routines, reduce mealtime stress and promote the acceptance of food variety. A coaching session is 45-60 minutes and can be completed in-person at a mutually agreed upon location or virtually. Please contact us to coordinate a date and time that works for your group.