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pediatric feeding therapy northern virginia

Pediatric Feeding Therapy

There are many reasons why a child could be struggling with eating. They could:

 

  • Suffer from oral motor difficulties (trouble using their tongue, teeth and jaw)
  • Have fine motor delays (cannot bring their hands to their mouth or grasp and pick up food)
  • Be picky eaters with a limited food repertoire
  • Have reflux, allergies or no appetite
  • Become distracted when they are trying to eat
  • Struggle with positioning
  • Regardless of why, feeding challenges can be an extremely frustrating issue for the entire family.

 

If a child is experiencing any of the following, their medical team should be contacted to see if a feeding evaluation would be beneficial:

 

  • Frequent vomiting
  • Chronic constipation/diarrhea
  • Difficulty latching onto breast/bottle, coordinating suck-swallow-breathe, chewing, advancing textures
  • Lack of self feeding
  • Coughing, choking, gagging or retching while eating
  • Eating less than 20 different foods
  • Significant aversion to certain foods or avoidance behaviors at mealtimes

 

Just like feeding challenges themselves, each treatment session is unique and geared toward the individual patient.

 

 

 

Therapists form realistic goals, discussing expectations or rules that parents or caregivers have, and put together a plan specifically tailored to meet the patient and family’s needs.

Therapists may have children play with their food, work on a snack schedule or use utensils of varied shapes and sizes. They use a graded approach to increase tolerance of non-preferred foods. Sensory activities could be incorporated into treatment sessions for children who need help improving attention, behavior and regulation.

The goal of our feeding therapy is to make eating and meal time a positive and fun experience for the child and family!