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
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
Everyone at Cheshire Fitness is always so friendly and welcoming. They provide a wonderful atmosphere for the children and are so supportive. The best gift anyone can give a parent is caring for his or her kid and helping his or her kid to live to their greatest potential and that is exactly what the therapists at Cheshire Fitness Zone do. They truly care and we will be forever grateful for the tools they have provided our child.
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.
My family has been blessed with this amazing crew at Cheshire Fitness Zone for almost five years. My daughter started PT at six months of age when we discovered unexpected delays. The staff from day one has gone above and beyond to help my daughter to be where she is today. They are not only extremely knowledgeable in their individual fields, but make everyone who walks through their door feel welcome and cared for. After the past five years, I consider these individuals like family. They have taught me so many ways to help my daughter and also to strive for the best and prepare for her future. I would highly recommend Cheshire Fitness Zone to anyone who needs services for their children. We appreciate it more than you’ll ever know.
We have been coming to Cheshire Fitness Zone for fifteen years. Our son has a motor dyspraxia which causes challenges with posture, upper body strength, and affects his fine motor skills too. After coming consistently every week for 1-2 visits he has surpassed many of his physical challenges. Now as a young man he takes physical challenges like 5k’s and bike challenges with a smile. We are grateful to the many physical therapists he has had over the years. Each of them has encouraged him and pushed him to improve in a gentle, but firm way, and always with a sense of humor. Our son looks forward to coming every week.
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.
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.
From the moment you check in at the front desk to your discussion with your therapist at the end of the session, you feel at home, respected, and in great hands. The improvements you will see in your child will say it all.
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.
My son has greatly benefited from OT and PT at Cheshire Fitness Zone. The therapists are so patient and knowledgeable. The facility is also very impressive and fun. We look forward to seeing our son progress as we continue therapy.
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.