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Feeding Therapy

 At STEP we offer specialized feeding therapy provided by

skilled occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists.

Scoop of Ice Cream

Feeding Therapy for Kids: 

Children may have difficulties during meal times and feeding. The goal of feeding is nutrition for growth and development. Feeding difficulties can present themselves in many ways, including limited food choices, gagging or vomiting when eating, frequent choking, coughing, or aspiration when feeding, not sitting still or remaining seated during meal times, only accepting certain colors or textures of food, or outright refusal to eat.

Feeding challenges can often be caused by oral motor differences, structural differences, postural irregularities, sensory differences, and/or behavioral components. Our feeding therapy is designed to target the specific areas affecting the child’s ability to participate fully in meal times, self-feeding, and family engagement.

Our feeding therapists provide in-depth evaluation of the child and family’s specific needs. Then, they design and implement intervention plans to target areas of concern. Therapists work directly with the child, but also include family and caregiver and provide training for carry over the strategies and skills across environments.

Does my child need feeding therapy?  


If your child presents with any of the following red flags, a feeding/swallowing evaluation is warranted:

  • Frequent gagging or choking

  • Food liquid coming out of the nose

  • Inability to transition from purees to solid pieces of food

  • Rashes or eczema associated with foods

  • Frequent vomiting

  • Extreme crying and food refusals

  • Complete avoidance of a particular texture or sensory property of a food

  • Breathy, hoarse, or wet vocal quality after eating

  • Difficulty latching to the breast or bottle

  • Arching during or following feedings

  • Poor coordination of swallowing and breathing

  • Congestion after eating

  • Poor weight gain

  • Chronic constipation

  • Repeated respiratory infections or pneumonia

  • Long meal times

  • Frequent coughing when eating

  • Inability to transition from breast/bottle to purees

  • Mealtime power struggles

  • Difficulty chewing

  • Pocketing food

  • Feeding tube dependence

  • Overstuffing

  • Gastrointestinal disorders resulting in difficulty eating

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