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Feeding Therapy

Feeding, Oral Motor Therapy

Image by Adrian Swancar

Feeding therapy is designed to assist individuals who have difficulties with eating, drinking, or swallowing. The therapy begins with a comprehensive assessment by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or occupational therapist (OT) to identify specific feeding and swallowing issues. This assessment may include evaluating the individual's oral motor skills, sensory responses to food, and overall mealtime behaviors.

Therapy sessions focus on improving the various skills involved in feeding. These may include:

Oral Motor Skills:

Exercises to strengthen the muscles used for chewing and swallowing, such as jaw exercises, tongue movements, and lip control activities.

Sensory Processing:

Activities to help individuals become more comfortable with different food textures, tastes, and temperatures. This can involve gradual exposure to new foods and desensitization techniques.

Feeding Techniques:

Strategies to improve the mechanics of eating, such as pacing, proper utensil use, and safe swallowing techniques. The therapist may also recommend adaptive feeding equipment.

Behavioral Interventions:

Approaches to address mealtime behaviors, such as establishing a positive mealtime routine, reducing anxiety around eating, and using positive reinforcement to encourage healthy eating habits.

Nutrition Guidance:

Providing recommendations on dietary modifications and working with nutritionists to ensure a balanced diet that meets the individual's needs.

The therapy is tailored to the individual's specific needs and goals, with a focus on making mealtime a positive and successful experience. The SLP or OT works closely with caregivers to provide education and training, ensuring that the strategies used in therapy are effectively implemented at home.


Cindy Knighton MS SLP-CCC

As the founder of Speech for Success, LLC, Cindy brings a wealth of experience to her role as a speech-language pathologist.

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