Feeding & Swallowing Therapy Program

Feeding and Swallowing program

Symbiosis Feeding & Swallowing Therapy specializes in assessing and providing individualized treatment for children experiencing developmental feeding delays, oral motor deficits, and sensory-based feeding challenges.

Our services are directed towards developing the skills necessary and providing social-emotional support to promote a positive mealtime experience. We integrate neurodevelopmental, oral-motor, sensory, and relationship-based approaches into our treatment.

Who Can Benefit from Feeding and Swallowing Program?

Symbiosis Swallowing and Feeding Program

Children who are fussy eaters typically present with the following signs:

  • Limited variety of food
  • May or may not take enough calories a day for growing
  • Lose interest in a certain food for a period of time, but accept it again after awhile
  • Tantrums when presented with new foods
  • Excessive crying or screaming during mealtimes
  • Refusal to eat different categories of food items based on texture or food group

How does the Feeding and Swallowing program helps?

Children may experience feeding and swallowing issues as part of the following difficulties:

  • Physiological (e.g., reflux, constipation, food allergies/intolerance)
  • Sensory (over/under/mixed sensitivity in their mouths, e.g., may not like toothbrushing or soft foods)
  • Oral motor (unable to suck or chew and swallow food)
  • Behavioral (e.g., learned behavior in response to food)

We collaborate with your medical doctor to help your child with feeding/swallowing difficulties. During the evaluation, we will ask about your child’s medical history, development, and symptoms. We will look at the strength and movement of the muscles involved in swallowing and observe feeding to see your child’s posture, behavior, and oral movements during eating and drinking.

We work with your child to improve the strength, movement, and coordination of the mouth muscles, thereby improving your child’s feeding skills. These can include their chewing, drinking, and sucking abilities.

We work closely with you to increase your child’s acceptance of different foods and liquids by altering food texture or liquid consistencies if necessary. For young infants, we work on the coordination of the suck-swallow-breath pattern. With collaborative efforts, your support, and an excellent problem-solving approach, we can help children enjoy feeding again!

What is Feeding Therapy?

Symbiosis Feeding Program

Feeding skills are vital to ensure the child receives essential and adequate nutrients for their development. Eating and drinking are also crucial tasks that we perform daily in different settings, e.g., at home, school, or work.

However, some children may experience feeding difficulties, such as:

  • Frequent gagging, choking, or vomiting during meals.
  • Refusal to try new foods.
  • Failure to accept different textures of food (e.g., only pureed foods or crunchy cereals)
  • Prolonged feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)
  • Excessive coughing or gagging during meals,
  • Excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose.
  • Gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality

We recommend a Feeding Assessment first for children experiencing the abovementioned issues to ascertain the condition. During the assessment, our Feeding team will conduct an in-depth interview with the parents, observe the child’s eating and drinking abilities, and may implement trial strategies that can help improve the child’s feeding skills. Depending on the outcome of the assessment, our team might recommend Feeding Therapy.

Feeding Therapy can be conducted in an individual or group setting. Our therapists may use the Positive Behaviour Plan and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding during these sessions. The SOS approach is a play-based method that helps fussy eaters develop a positive relationship with food. It aims to increase interactions with a variety of food through systematic desensitization.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

OT
SLP
BI

Our feeding therapists:

  • Create programs tailored to your child’s developmental capabilities!
  • Emphasize safe food exploration to gain trust and build relationships.
  • Encourage child-led pacing when exploring new foods.
  • Actively collaborate with your child’s entire medical team
  • Maintain sensitivity to the needs and culture of the family.
  • Train caregivers and encourage participation throughout treatment.

Team approach is proven to provide the best results