Because the muscles that are used for speaking are the same ones used for eating, a speech-language pathologist is recognized as the most appropriate medical professional to address feeding issues.
These issues can include newborns and infants struggling with nursing or toddlers having difficulty transitioning to purees or soft chewable foods. Even older children who, on the surface, seem to be picky eaters, may in fact have muscle weakness that manifests itself in food aversions.
Excessive drooling or difficulty in orally manipulating solids and liquids are other examples of issues addressed in feeding therapy.
In July of 2018, Rachel received advanced training in an amazing, intensive technique for feeding therapy. The SOS Approach to Feeding, set out by Dr. Kay Toomey, is a Transdisciplinary Program designed for assessing and treating children 0-21 with feeding and weight/growth difficulties.
The program emphasizes working as a team with Psychologists, Pediatricians, Occupational Therapists, Registered Dietitians, and Speech Pathologists. SOS Approach integrates motor, oral, behavioral/learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems.
The assessment component of the program makes sure that all physical reasons for atypical feeding development are examined and appropriately treated medically. In addition, the SOS Approach works to identify any nutritional deficits impacting the child’s growth parameters and needs; and looks at all developmental areas with regards to feeding and learning.