Oral Motor Feeding & Swallowing
Members of our team at Pediatric Speech Therapy Associates are trained to treat infants, toddlers, and adolescents with a variety of feeding difficulties. Problems with feeding and swallowing may occur due to a variety of medical or physical conditions including: dysphagia, feeding-tube dependency, oral-motor chewing difficulty, “picky” eaters, and food/oral aversions. After an initial evaluation, therapy and treatment recommendations are provided to meet the needs of you and your child.
Making an Appointment: Physician referrals may be faxed to 720-242-8085. If you have questions, call 720-542-8737.
Preparing for Your Visit: Please bring the following to your child’s visit
1. Completed Childhood Questionaire
2. Copy of Insurance Card
3. Completed 3-Day Food Diary
4. Food/drinks your child likes as well as items your child had difficulty with
5. Typical utensils, cups & bottles
During Your Visit: You will meet with a licensed speech-language pathologist to discuss specific concerns about your child, review your child’s past medical and feeding history, evaluate your child’s oral-motor feeding skills and, if applicable, refusals or sensory responses to foods your child has difficulty with. Further recommendations to other medical professionals may be made by the clinician at the time of your appointment. Caregivers are provided with recommendations to implement at home and/or a recommendation of ongoing therapy to facilitate progress. You can expect your appointment to range from one to two hours. Please bring your child hungry!
Our program currently offers individuals and group feeding therapy. If therapy is recommended, your child will be seen on a weekly or consultative basis. Frequency of therapy will be determined by the diagnostic clinician during your evaluation.
Caregiver Eduation & Training
Parents and caregivers are encouraged to observe and participate in feeding therapy sessions led by our clinician. Education and training is provided to caregivers to facilitate carry-over into the home setting.
Difficulty drinking from a bottle, cup or chewing solid foods and textures. Some children choke or gag on food while others drool and spill food from their mouths. Other children experience sensory issues transitioning to solids or when offered new foods. These children may be overly sensitive to specific tastes or textures or demonstrate an under-reaction to foods, craving spicy or crunchy foods.
Oral Motor/Feeding Milestones
4-6 months- Babies introduced to soft solid foods such as cereals and pureed fruits and vegetables. Cup drinking may also be introduced (6 months)
6-9 months- Soft cookies may be introduced as well as ground or lumpy solids.
10-12 months-Mashed or soft table foods are introduced, babies will also take most of their liquids from a cup. At 12 months, babies have a controlled bite and are able to bite through cookies.
13-15 months- Continued improvement with biting skills, will also use a straw or regular cup.
16-18 months- Children are given more challenging foods that require chewing, such as meats and vegetables.
19-24 months- Children will begin to gain more control of cup drinking and will bite the cup less. They are learning to drink in longer sequences with little or no spillage.
2 years- Children are able to manage any type of food they like as they have learned all the skills they need to eat every type of food.