Pediatric Feeding Therapy Services

We work with babies, toddlers, children, and adolescents

Our feeding team, comprised of Speech Language Pathologists and Occupational Therapists, apply principles from advanced training (Sequential-Oral-Sensory “SOS”, Beckman Oral Motor, etc) to evaluate and treat patients with feeding concerns. We work with toddlers, children, and adolscents who experience difficulty with acceptance of new foods/textures, commonly referred to as “Problem Feeders”, patients who have feeding disorders, known as dysphagia, as well as mother’s with difficulty breastfeeding.

Learn more about problem feeders, dysphagia and lactation counseling

What causes feeding and swallowing disorders?

The following are some causes of feeding and swallowing disorders in children:

  • nervous system disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy, meningitis, encephalopathy)
  • gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., reflux, “short gut” syndrome)
  • prematurity and/or low birth weight (history of intubation or feeding tube)
  • heart disease
  • cleft lip and/or palate
  • conditions affecting the airway
  • autism
  • head and neck abnormalities
  • muscle weakness in the face and neck
  • multiple medical problems
  • respiratory difficulties
  • medications that may cause lethargy or decreased appetite
  • problems with parent-child interactions at meal times
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
 

New client feeding evaluation forms

To assist you with getting the most out of your first feeding therapy visit, please print and complete the age appropriate evaluation form:

  1. Feeding Evaluation Questionnaire 0 – 6 Years 
  2. Feeding Evaluation Questionnaire 7 Years and older 

Our evaluation process

In order to obtain a clear picture of your child’s needs, our therapists will complete an evaluation.  We will obtain medical history and a food diary, discuss symptoms, and gather information regarding overall development.  The therapist will then conduct an assessment to look at the strength and movement of the muscles involved in the oral phase of feeding as well as observe feeding to see your child’ s posture, behavior, and oral movements during eating and drinking.

Our treatment approach

If feeding therapy is recommended, we will work closely with both the child and family to develop an individualized treatment plan. The following are examples of areas that may be the focus of intervention:

  • making the muscles of the mouth stronger including the jaw, lips and tongue
  • increasing tongue movement to better control food inside the oral cavity
  • improving chewing for various types of textures including soft and crunchy
  • strengthening the core muscles that promote optimal positioning for feeding
  • increasing acceptance of different foods and liquids
  • improving sucking and/or drinking ability
  • providing sensory input to increase awareness or decrease sensitivity in and around the mouth
  • improving self feeding skills

What Clients Are Saying

I honestly can’t thank you enough for all the time you spent with us and the very valuable advice that you gave.
The Cristo Family
I am so happy we came to Cheshire Fitness Zone. My daughter injured her hip figure skating. Another physical therapist diagnosed and treated her incorrectly. Luckily when we came to Cheshire Fitness Zone and saw Craig he discovered her injury was something else and much more of a serious injury. In fact, we were referred to a Pedi orthopedist who concluded with Craig’s diagnosis. The orthopedist said it was a good find, very difficult to catch, and often missed. My daughter had surgery and is now recovering and seeing Craig for rehab. She is almost done and doing well. Highly recommended Cheshire Fitness Zone.
Elaine Reilly
We have been coming to Cheshire Fitness Zone for more than two years. The therapists are friendly, compassionate, and professional. Not only do they do a fabulous job with the therapy, but they also consider the individual behavioral needs for our son. They are caring while pushing him to achieve goals that at times he might feel he can do and he does. Thank you to Craig and the staff for all that you do!
The Smedbergs
As a physical therapist at Cheshire Fitness Zone, I have seen firsthand the positive impact therapy services have had on so many children and their families. We are very family-oriented at Cheshire Fitness Zone and are constantly working with our families to help reach their goals for their children. It is an extremely rewarding feeling to see a child learn mobility skills that they were unable to perform prior to starting therapy services. The staff at Cheshire Fitness Zone is dedicated to providing the best care possible for all the children that they work with.
Anonymous
I love working at Cheshire Fitness Zone because the therapy team is always willing to collaborate and share different treatment strategies and therapy techniques. You are never at a loss for ideas!
Anonymous
Cheshire Fitness Zone therapists offer hope, encouragement, and creativity. They deliver on persistence, personal gains, and individual growth because they genuinely care. In spite of working on the steps to tie his shoes for over six months at a different facility, at Cheshire Fitness Zone Erin never lost hope or let him quit. Although he had no idea each week she worked on skills that when put together would tie a shoe. She approached the idea of tying many times only to be met with complete resistance and totally shutting down. Then one day he came to me after his session and said, ‘Hey mom, guess what? I can tie my shoes.’ When I saw the pride in his eyes and the encouragement on Erin’s face I knew he had done it. It was one of the happiest moments of his childhood. What a gift…self-pride and independence.
Stacey Lyn
Cheshire Fitness Zone has been absolutely wonderful for my family. All of the staff and therapists treat the children with respect and truly care about their development. The therapists are always available to ask questions and are extremely knowledgeable. The front desk staff alway works to accommodate our schedule and are always friendly and kind. I always refer Cheshire Fitness Zone to other families who are looking for services for their children.
Anonymous
My twelve year old daughter has been seeing Craig since she was four years old and she loves coming to the ‘gym.’ I love that she refers to it as the ‘gym’ instead of therapy. She sees her therapy as a place where she works her body to become stronger and has fun. She is disappointed if therapy is canceled. The staff is wonderful and works to find the right fit with each child and therapist. They work across modalities and communicate with the school and her doctors. I am thankful to have Cheshire Fitness Zone in my daughter’s life! Thank you!
Heather M.
I love it here. They make you feel like family; they work with your schedule. Everyone in the office is very friendly. I’m here with my son three times a week and I see the differences from when he first started and he’s been doing great. This place is just great with my son and with other kids I see around. I’m truly blessed to be around great people all the time.
Anonymous
The physical therapists at Cheshire Fitness Zone are warm, caring individuals. They have worked with my daughter for about a year and a half now and she has made tremendous progress building her core strength, coordination, balance, and overall strengthening. I recommend them highly.
Kristine Livolsi

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