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
Take Our Developmental Milestone Quiz!
As parents, we all want to ensure that our children are meeting crucial developmental milestones. Use this tool to see if your child is on the right track.
What Clients Are Saying
Cheshire Fitness Zone has been wonderful. We have worked with many of the therapists for OT and PT and have had excellent experiences with all of them. They were very accommodating to our schedule. And even on a day where my son was not into working they are always able to get him to work. Their front office is very pleasant and are always smiling when we arrive. I have to bring my other son when we come and the therapists are always willing to include both of them on days where it is difficult waiting in the lobby.
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.
Thank you for teaching me everything I know about OT and sensory diets. You go above and beyond for our students and we really appreciate all that you have given us.
My twelve year old daughter has been seeing Craig since she was four years old and she loves coming to the ‘gym.’ I love that she refers to it as the ‘gym’ instead of therapy. She sees her therapy as a place where she works her body to become stronger and has fun. She is disappointed if therapy is canceled. The staff is wonderful and works to find the right fit with each child and therapist. They work across modalities and communicate with the school and her doctors. I am thankful to have Cheshire Fitness Zone in my daughter’s life! Thank you!
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 found Cheshire Fitness Zone. This is just what my son needs. His school also heard of you guys and said great things. I’m happy to know he is in good hands.
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!
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.
I am privileged to work with amazing children, wonderful families, skilled therapists, and professional staff each day at Cheshire Fitness Zone. We are a team working toward the best possible outcome for each unique child. I am so thankful to be a part of such a special place.
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.