What is Oral-Motor/Feeding?
Feeding Therapy is designed to address difficulties that occur at any step in the process of eating and drinking. Challenges may include food refusal, limited foods or textures, difficulty transitioning to solid foods or any problem related to the function of the muscles inside and around the mouth.
Oral-Motor Therapy may be used as a component of feeding therapy or articulation therapy. Carefully selected techniques and exercises are implemented to develop awareness, strength, coordination and mobility of the oral musculature in order to facilitate improved clarity of speech and/or successful feeding skills.
Who is involved in Oral-Motor/Feeding?
Children demonstrating significant challenges with articulation skills and/or feeding, such as a limited range of foods eaten, difficulty transitioning between textures, poor chewing skills, excessive forward tongue movement, or difficulty with saliva management are good candidates for this program.
How does it work?
Following an Oral-Motor/Feeding Evaluation an individualized plan will be developed by the Speech and Language Pathologist. This plan may address sensory, oral-motor, and/or behavioral components to address the multiple factors involved with feeding. Specific exercises, feeding techniques, and foods are selected depending on the needs of the child. Therapy sessions are scheduled during which the therapist will work with the child and caregiver (s). Solving the mealtime dilemma requires a comprehensive plan which will directly involve the family’s commitment.
Oral-Motor/Feeding goals may address:
- Jaw stability and strength for chewing
- Grading of movement in the lips, tongue and jaw
- Lip closure at rest or during feeding
- Tongue retraction, lateralization or elevation
- Improving breath support for feeding and speech
- Development of skills for chewing
- Increasing repertoire of foods
Requirements to begin:
- An Oral-Motor/Feeding Evaluation must be scheduled with one of our specially-trained Speech-Language Pathologists.
- Baseline Food Diary to be completed before the assessment.
– Addresses articulation, voice and fluency disorders
– Teaches where to put tongue, lips and teeth to make appropriate sounds
– Horn blowing and straw blowing exercises integral part of our regimen