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Feeding and swallowing therapy utilizes strategies and techniques to support the rehabilitation/habilitation of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders focused on supporting growth, nutrition and hydration, the development of feeding activities with families, and ensuring safe swallowing with the aim of preventing choking and aspiration pneumonia.

Feeding and Swallowing Disorders in Children

Infants and children typically gain their nutrition through drinking and eating an age appropriate diet. It can be very worrisome as a parent to experience your child not eating well or struggling to maintain a healthy weight. The ability to bite, move and chew food requires a significant amount of coordination of the lips, tongue and jaw. Medical diagnoses and delayed development of motor skills can affect the ability to feed and swallow efficiently, and does require specialized therapy. That's where The Speech Cove can help. Our licensed and certified speech-language pathologist works with your child and family to create positive meal time routines, improve oral sensorimotor feeding patterns, and empower intuitive eating patterns in the child.

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feeding therapy, speech therapist, speech therapy, speech therapy for kids

When should a child be referred for feeding therapy?

Mealtimes are a great time for bonding and enjoying new experiences. Unfortunately, for some children, it can be a stressful and challenging time. If any of the behaviors below are affecting a child’s ability to safely eat, meet nutritional needs or enjoy the mealtime experience, the child may benefit from receiving a feeding evaluation.

  • Chokes, coughs, gags, or vomits when eating

  • Difficulty chewing / swallowing

  • Issues maintaining a healthy weight

  • Limited diet repertoire (less than 20 foods)

    • Omits or refuses foods​

    • Prefers certain brands of foods

  • Mealtimes feel exhausting or dreadful

  • Medical complexities affecting oral intake

  • Pocketing / overstuffing foods

  • Transitioning to oral feeding from NG or G-tube

What to Expect in
Feeding Therapy

During your initial visit, our highly trained speech-language pathologists will evaluate your child's vital and fundamental ability to drink and eat through formal and informal assessment. Assessments are customized to each child and may include a combination of observations, oral motor examination, and developmental history. At the conclusion of the assessment, we will share the results and make recommendations for your child that include a measurable treatment plan. The length of time your child may need therapy varies from child to child.

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Common Disorders that Benefit from Feeding & Swallowing Therapy

  • ​Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Cleft Lip and Palate

  • Developmental Delays

  • Down Syndrome

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