The common saying of parents everywhere is, “You need to eat all your vegetables, so you grow big and strong!” Well, what can you do if your child struggles with nursing or eating solid foods beyond the typical fussiness expected in childhood?
If your child struggles with eating, they might not be getting enough nutrients for healthy development. This can impact their health long-term and cause them to develop a negative relationship with food. The good news is our feeding therapists at Pediatric Therapy Partners are experienced in handling feeding difficulties in infants, babies, toddlers, and young children. We can evaluate the causes and develop a treatment plan to make mealtime relaxing again!
Does My Child Need Feeding Therapy?
Your child’s pediatrician should update you at every checkup on how well your child is growing. If they’ve indicated that your child is underweight, you should talk to them about any feeding struggles your child is having and ask about feeding therapy.
You can also call us at (318) 746-1199 and ask about our free developmental screening. Our therapists will be happy to go over your child’s difficulties and advise you if feeding therapy can benefit them.
The following are signs that your child may need feeding therapy:
- Your infant struggles to latch to the breast or bottle.
- Babies have difficulty swallowing when nursing or moving to solids.
- They have a cleft lip or palate.
- They have a condition like Down syndrome or cerebral palsy that affects their fine or oral motor skills.
- They struggle with certain types of food due to texture, color, temperature, or other sensory reasons.
- They have difficulty using utensils or cups.
- Your baby has a tongue or lip tie.
What Is a Feeding Therapy Session Like?
While all the therapy services we provide include parents or guardians, in feeding therapy it is especially important that you participate as well. This is because our therapists are professionals — we know that we can help your child nurse or eat. What’s important is that you learn the tricks and techniques that will help your child at home while they’re developing the skills to eat on their own.
Of course, it wouldn’t be feeding therapy without food! After your child’s evaluation, our therapists will let you know what types of food you will need to bring to the therapy sessions. Practice makes perfect, so your child will have the opportunity to practice eating different foods during their sessions. Like all of our therapy services, feeding therapy is designed to feel like play and keep your child engaged. With lots of support and encouragement, your child will improve their feeding skills and improve their confidence about mealtimes!
How Do I Schedule a Feeding Therapy Evaluation?
Our pediatric feeding therapists will need a referral from your child’s pediatrician to evaluate and treat your child. If you don’t have one, don’t worry! Our staff can help coordinate this and get you a referral so your child can receive treatment.
When you’re ready to make an appointment for your child, call our office at (318) 746-1199 to speak to our Intake Coordinator. She will be able to answer your questions, and she will send you an email with online forms to fill out.
Once you have completely filled out the forms, including your insurance information, our Intake Coordinator will contact you to schedule your child’s initial evaluation appointment and go over any other important details with you.
Ready to get started? Call us at (318) 746-1199 today!