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
Children who require professional feeding intervention demonstrate concerns beyond being picky. Many children prefer certain foods and can be stubborn when new foods are presented. Problem feeders present with signs/symptoms that are much more severe such as:
- Diet consisting of less than 20 foods
- May lose foods that were once accepted and do not reacquire them
- Refuse foods even when hungry
- Demonstrate behaviors (crying/tantrums/withdrawal) associated with eating or just being in the presence of food
- Unwilling to try new foods after many presentations
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
- 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:
Our evaluation process
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
We can’t thank you enough. I don’t think we would be where we are if it wasn’t for your care, guidance, and support for Cole and us.
Cheshire Fitness Zone provides staff at our school that understands the role of related service providers in educational settings, meet the educationally related needs of the students, and communicate well with faculty, staff, and parents. They exhibit a high degree of professionalism and state of the art physical therapy.
Highly recommend. The warm, loving atmosphere sets the tone for these highly motivated therapists to do their thing. The office staff is top notch as well!!
A five star rating would not be enough for Cheshire Fitness Zone! From the first time I called to schedule my son’s consult to now one year later, we are consistently greeted by the most caring and loving staff. My son goes to Cheshire Fitness Zone for oral motor/speech therapy and sees Miss Kim. When I say she is the best, she truly is! From day one she has put her heart and soul into my child’s therapy. The strides my son has made in one year is amazing. Not only is Kim the nicest person ever, she is extremely knowledgeable in her field and is constantly thinking of new ways to improve my son’s speech.
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!
Cheshire Fitness Zone has been wonderful. The office staff is very welcoming and informative and the OT that my son sees has a genuine interest in my son’s well-being. He always communicates well with me and makes sure to ease all of my concerns. My son loves coming to Cheshire Fitness Zone!