Oral Motor and Feeding Program
Our Feeding Philosophy
We believe in providing an inspiring and calm feeding environment where, children and families feel safe to explore and interact with food while respecting their individuality. It is important to consider all aspects of development to ensure success with feeding. Our mission is to assist with navigating through the difficulties with motor skills, sensory systems, behavioral/emotional components, and communication. Additionally, we value the importance of enhancing proper diets; building family routines around eating; and fostering social interactions.
Our mission is to:
- Provide positive experiences with food exploration
- Create a wide range of food interactions
- Enhance the volume of food that children will eat
- Model and educate mealtime routines
Our intention for parents/care givers, is that they will:
- Have a greater knowledge for family eating routines and food selection
- Feel competent with feeding their child
- Gain resources for nutritional education
- Collaborate with other parents/caregivers
Group Feeding Treatment:
Our feeding group includes whole body warm-up activities to improve overall body awareness and promote functional arousal to allow the child to remain calm and alert for “eating.” Activities for “eating” start with oral motor exercises such as: using a mirror to focus on tongue lateralization, lip closure, and improved tactile discrimination. Oral warm ups will include activities to improve tactile discrimination and decrease tactile sensitivities outside and inside the mouth, gum chewing, and the use of vibration using massagers. After these warm-ups, the group will interact with foods that are chosen based on the needs and desires of the children in the group. These food activities will be helpful to learn about food such as “What does it look like?” “What does it feel like on your tongue?” Once a comfort level is established with the food, then we will start talking about tasting and eating food. There will be a home program component to the group where specific activities will be recommended to practice in the home environment.