We understand that having a child who does not eat well is very stressful for parents and carers and this is why we offer a specialist feeding clinic.
It’s run by our Speech and Language Therapist and Occupational Therapist, using the SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Approach to Feeding Program, developed by Dr. Kay Toomey and is used worldwide to treat feeding issues in infants, children and adolescents. For more information about SOS Approach to Feeding, visit the Toomey & Associates – SOS Approach to Feeding website.
Assessment and Treatment Using the SOS Approach to Feeding
The SOS Approach to feeding is a multi-disciplinary program for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties and weight/growth problems from birth to 18 years.
It integrates posture, sensory, motor, behaviours/learning, medical and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems.
It’s based on, and grounded philosophically in, the “normal” developmental steps, stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. The treatment component of the program utilises these typical developmental steps towards feeding to create a systematic desensitisation hierarchy of skills/behaviours necessary for children to progress with eating various textures, and with growing at an appropriate rate for them.
The SOS Approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods.
The assessment component of the program makes sure that all physical reasons for atypical feeding development are examined and appropriately treated medically.
The therapy sessions are offered in 12 weeks blocks of therapy and parents are involved in the sessions, so they can learn skills to help their children to enjoy eating.
Does my child need feeding therapy?
The following are considered to be “red flags” for feeding disorders and children presenting with any of these symptoms may benefit from our specialist feeding clinic:
- Ongoing poor weight gain or weight loss
- Ongoing choking, gagging or coughing during meals
- Ongoing problems with vomiting
- More than one incident of nasal reflux
- History of a traumatic choking incident
- History of eating and breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
- Parents reporting child as being “picky” at 2 or more well child checks
- Unable to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age
- Unable to accept any table food solids by 12 months of age
- Unable to transition from breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age
- Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
- Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or nutrition group
- Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
- An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
- Family is fighting about food and feeding – meal times are “battles”
- Parent repeatedly reports that the child is difficult for everyone to feed
- Parental history of an eating disorder, with a child not meeting weight
- goals (parents not causing the problem, but may be more stressed and in need of extra supports)
To make an appointment contact us: