Feeding & Swallowing Program
EVIDENCE-BASED: We utilize strategies associated with SOFFI, Beckman Oral Motor Approach, SOS Approach to feeding therapy, Feeding & Swallowing Hierarchy, positioning and adaptive equipment, manual techniques, strengthening of oral motor structures, grading levels of support and expectations.
INTER-PROFESSIONAL: Feeding needs are COMPLEX! Our inter-professional team deploys a team-based approach to support each child's unique feeding needs. Our team includes occupational therapists, speech therapists, physical therapists and a dietician to help support the outcomes for each of our families!
DYNAMIC: To meet the needs of our children and families, our care plans are highly tailored and inclusive of a variety of intervention approaches, tools, positions, equipment, environments, and sensory strategies. Our plans are constantly changing as our children progress with their outcomes.
Feeding & Swallowing Providers
Our Team of Speech & Occupational Therapists Specifically Trained in Feeding/Swallowing Intervention
Christina Gagosian MS, OTR/L
Complex feeding needs, dysphagia, oral motor skills, sensory-based feeding strategies, diet expansion
Danielle Elson CCC-SLP
Dysphagia, oral motor skills, complex feeding needs, infant feeding
Chelsea Maziarz MS, OTR/L, CAS
Medically Complex Infant Feeding
Laura Collins COTA/L
Diet expansion, oral motor, sensory-based feeding strategies
Justine Rotz MS, OTR/L
Oral motor skills, complex feeding, sensory-based feeding, diet expansion, dysphagia
Signs of Feeding or Swallowing Issues
Behaviors During Feeding
Arches back, stiffens, cries, fusses, falls asleep, gets stuffy, coughs, gags, spits, throws up, uncoordinated breathing while feeding or eating, falls asleep
Challenges with Textures
Refuses various textures, eats 10 or less foods, only eats certain textures
Behaviors After Feeding
Spits up or throws up, drools a lot, has liquid coming out of nose or mouth, has gurgly, hoarse or breathy voice
Challenges We Can Help With
Difficulty breastfeeding or transitioning from breast to bottle
Difficulty with beginning textures or advancing textures
Difficulty with self-feeding: hands to mouth, use of utensils
Choking, gagging, or vomiting when eating
Feeding tube dependency, decreased oral intake, decreased calorie intake
Refusal of foods, liquids, or textures, tantrums during meal time
Common Diagnoses We Help Treat
Dysphagia, pediatric feeding disorder, gastroesophageal reflux, gastric motility disorders, palate defects, Autism Spectrum Disorder, sensory aversion, failure to thrive, prematurity, oral motor dysfunction, dysphagia, and many more!
-> Increasing the awareness and coordination of oral structures
-> Coordinating breathing with sucking and swallowing
-> Increases food textures and liquid thickness
-> Decreasing negative behaviors during meal times
-> Decreasing sensory aversion or sensitivity to tactile experiences (hands/mouth) sights, sounds, smells at meal times
-> Proper positioning for safety in eating and swallowing
-> Increasing variety of foods and calories
Let's Get Started!
Call to schedule your evaluation today!
During our evaluation we will review medical concerns and assess oral motor skills, swallowing skills, nutritional concerns, and behavioral concerns associated with mealtimes.