Feeding Therapy

Infant Feeding and Bottle Aversion

Feeding is instinctual to babies, but that doesn’t mean that it always goes smoothly. There are a number of things that can interrupt this delicate process, which leads to more stress in an already stressful situation. 

Many parent concerns are dismissed by the doctor because the baby is gaining weight. If you’re here, it means you still have concerns. And rightfully so! We urge you to seek an evaluation with our trained staff because this myth that everything is fine if they are gaining weight can lead to further aversion and more stress.

Red Flags to Look For:

Structural:

  • Lip blisters
  • Poor latching and weak suck
  • Tongue and/or lip tie

Swallowing: 

  • Incoordination
  • Vomiting
  • Coughing, gagging, choking
  • Excessive spit up
  • Reflex

Other things to look out for:

  • Frequent ear infections
  • Multiple short feedings
  • Failure to thrive
  • Crying and back arching during feeding
  • Colicky (crying)
  • Lethargic (sleepy) baby
  • Sleep issues/sleep apnea

Do any of these red flags describe your infant? We can help you address the root causes of these symptoms & help you find solutions to your concerns!

Picky Toddlers and Kids

Did you know that approximately 25-35% of children will have mild feeding problems (Leung, 1994)? In addition, children with Autism have an extremely high rate of feeding difficulty, with 90% of children with Autism having some reported difficulty with feeding or foods, and 70% reported as at least picky or very selective eaters (Kodak & Piazza, 2008; Keen, 2008). 

Feeding is one of the most complex actions we perform as human beings. It requires all of our organs, 8 tongue muscles, coordinating respiration/breathing, and we have to be agreeable to the sensory experience that comes with food! 

Our therapists are trained to perform a thorough, comprehensive oral motor and feeding assessment and to identify any underlying factors related to your child’s feeding needs. Then, feeding therapy can help your child to learn to accept new foods, increase the amount of food they’re eating, and accept new textures of food.

We use a variety of approaches to ensure we help your child meet their goals. This may include a feeding/sensory based approach (i.e., the SOS approach), oral motor therapy, addressing fear and anxiety surrounding food, addressing nutritional status, and family training (including environmental/positioning training).

Myofunctional Therapy

Did you know your tongue has 8 different muscles? Or that your jaw is joined together by two of the most complex joints in your entire body? Your face is responsible for a lot! There is a very complex relationship between your temporomandibular joints and the surrounding muscles of your lips and face, which work together to help you eat, speak, swallow, express emotions, and more. You can see how important it is for these muscles and joints to work together properly. If they don’t, you may be experiencing an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD).

When part of this complex network of joints and muscles isn’t functioning correctly, however, it can create a ripple effect, leading to jaw pain as well as a surprising number of symptoms throughout the body. Restoring the harmony between your joints and muscles can resolve your symptoms, helping you feel healthier overall.

Signs you may need Myofunctional Therapy

  • Habitual mouth breathing
  • Constantly parted lips
  • Clicking or popping of jaw
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Poor sleep
  • Grinding teeth
  • Bedwetting
  • Cavities
  • Orthodontic issues
  • Improper swallowing (i.e. Tongue touches teeth when swallowing)
  • Obstructive sleep apnea or sleep disordered breathing
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, which can lead to a range of symptoms like a painful jaw, frequent headaches or migraines, muscle soreness in the neck, shoulders, and back, temporary hearing loss, and more speech problems like a lisp or other speech impediment
  • Picky eating – often eliminating meat and vegetables
  • ​Spitting out or gagging on foods
  • Multiple swallows to clear food from mouth
  • ​Incorrect oral posture (when the tongue presses against or between your teeth instead of resting gently against the roof of your mouth)
  • Stomach aches from swallowing too much air or not chewing your food enough

There are a number of potential causes for Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders, many of which originate in childhood and that can be identified through a comprehensive evaluation.
Schedule your FREE consultation today!