Eating is the most basic yet the most complex function our bodies are capable of performing. Swallowing is a reflex that develops in-utero at 32 weeks of gestation. We strongly believe that every baby and child deserves a chance for oral feedings as soon as possible. When there is a feeding / swallowing problem, it disrupts the bonding time between child and their parent and family.
We have a very unique program at Assential Therapies that is custom made to suit the needs of each individual and family. We use a team approach to treat feeding difficulties and concerns. Cases are often reviewed with our staff that may include SLP, OT, DT and PT. We also work with a variety of medical professionals and specialists including pediatricians, GI specialists, ENTs, pulmonologists, cardiologist, etc.
Who Can Benefit?
Many parents and families have questions about their child’s eating habits. Some of the children who may benefit from an evaluation and treatment may include:
- Fussy and Picky Eaters with overactive gag
- Sensory-Behavioral Feeding Disorders
- Gastro-esophageal reflux
- Poor weight gain and failure to thrive
- GI tract re-construction surgeries
- Chewing and swallowing issues
- Neurological disorders: related to facial muscle weakness, low tone, spasticity, and cerebral palsy
- Prematurity, NG-tube or G-tube Feeders
- Cranio-facial anomalies such as cleft-lip and palate
Feeding difficulties and concerns may be addresses in individual speech / feeding therapy or in a feeding group.
- Comprehensive initial evaluations
- Team Evaluations when appropriate
- Individual Feeding Therapy
- Group Feeding Therapy
- Vital StimThis approach uses electrical stimulation for improving coordination and strength of the muscles involved in the process of swallowing.
- SOS ApproachA structured treatment approach to address feeding problems in children. It focuses on developing appropriate oral skills and meal time behaviors. to feeding
- Food ChainingA treatment approach designed to address feeding problems in picky eaters.
- Collaboration with medical professionals and other disciplines as needed including: ENT, GI, psychologist, Occupational Therapist, etc.