Feeding Therapy

By using a multidisciplinary approach (primarily speech and/or occupational therapists), our goal is to achieve functional feeding and optimal nutrition.  We serve children with feeding impairments due to medical, oral motor, developmental and behavioral issues. 

Learning to Love Eating with Family and Friends

Every child grows and develops at his or her own pace. Sometimes, additional help is needed in order for your child to reach developmental milestones. The earlier a challenge is addressed, the better the future success for your child.

Mealtimes are a great time for bonding and enjoying new experiences. Unfortunately, for some children, eating is not fun but rather stressful and challenging. At PNE, our goal is to achieve functional feeding and optimal nutrition via a multi-disciplinary approach using both Speech and Occupational Therapists. Feeding therapy is more than just “teaching a child to eat”. Therapists work closely with children and their families to determine the source of the child’s difficulties and develop very specific activities to make the entire mealtime experience less challenging and more enjoyable. Our therapists are trained using the SOS approach to feeding as well as other critically acclaimed feeding courses.

Would My Child Benefit from Feeding Therapy?

If any of the behaviors below are affecting your child’s ability to safely eat, meet nutritional needs or enjoy the mealtime experience, a feeding evaluation may be beneficial.

  • Infant difficulty with coordinated suck, swallow, breathe pattern during feedings
  • Infant difficulty latching on to bottle or nipple
  • Failed swallow study/aspiration concerns
  • Fussy or irritable with feeding
  • Seems congested after feeding
  • Gags, chokes or coughs when eating
  • Frequently spits up/vomits during or immediately after eating or drinking
  • Transitioning from tube feedings to oral feedings
  • Difficulty using a cup, straw, sippy
  • Difficulty chewing foods/moving foods safely in mouth
  • Negative mealtime behaviors, i.e. infant cries, arches, pulls away from food; child refuses to eat, tantrums at mealtimes or “shuts-down” and does not engage in mealtime.
  • Eats a very restricted, child-controlled diet, i.e. only eats 5 different foods, only eats crunchy foods, only eats chicken nuggets from McDonalds, etc.
  • Has difficulty/meltdowns when new foods are introduced

If you have concerns or feel your child would benefit from feeding therapy, please contact our office to schedule an evaluation for your child. 

If your child is between the ages of birth to three, our therapists would be happy to provide services in your home or daycare through Indiana’s First Steps program. Please visit the First Steps website https://indianafirststeps.org/ or call (260) 444-2994 to refer your child for a free evaluation. PLEASE NOTE: For some children with feeding difficulties, outpatient therapy may be recommended.

Find out if your child is on target to meet milestones: