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
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 therapists offer hope, encouragement, and creativity. They deliver on persistence, personal gains, and individual growth because they genuinely care. In spite of working on the steps to tie his shoes for over six months at a different facility, at Cheshire Fitness Zone Erin never lost hope or let him quit. Although he had no idea each week she worked on skills that when put together would tie a shoe. She approached the idea of tying many times only to be met with complete resistance and totally shutting down. Then one day he came to me after his session and said, ‘Hey mom, guess what? I can tie my shoes.’ When I saw the pride in his eyes and the encouragement on Erin’s face I knew he had done it. It was one of the happiest moments of his childhood. What a gift…self-pride and independence.
I honestly can’t thank you enough for all the time you spent with us and the very valuable advice that you gave.
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.
Cheshire Fitness Zone provides staff at our school that understands the role of related service providers in educational settings, meet the educationally related needs of the students, and communicate well with faculty, staff, and parents. They exhibit a high degree of professionalism and state of the art physical therapy.
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 girls have been going to Cheshire Fitness Zone since the summer of 2015 and the therapy they receive from their therapist is the best therapy they have ever received. The therapists are the friendliest and nicest group of therapists we have ever met. The girls enjoy going to therapy and I am very happy that we go to Cheshire Fitness Zone.
A five star rating would not be enough for Cheshire Fitness Zone! From the first time I called to schedule my son’s consult to now one year later, we are consistently greeted by the most caring and loving staff. My son goes to Cheshire Fitness Zone for oral motor/speech therapy and sees Miss Kim. When I say she is the best, she truly is! From day one she has put her heart and soul into my child’s therapy. The strides my son has made in one year is amazing. Not only is Kim the nicest person ever, she is extremely knowledgeable in her field and is constantly thinking of new ways to improve my son’s speech.
Cheshire Fitness Zone has tremendously helped not only our two children receiving services, but our entire family. The atmosphere in the clinic is friendly, supportive, and understanding. Their office staff is amazing and accommodates each family’s schedule and needs. Our children receive speech, OT, and PT services. Every one of the therapists they have worked with has been wonderful and our children have made incredible progress. The kids also love going to all of their therapy sessions because the therapists make each and every session fun and exciting. We are so fortunate to have found Cheshire Fitness Zone and recommend it to any family looking for services for their children.
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.
I love working at Cheshire Fitness Zone because the therapy team is always willing to collaborate and share different treatment strategies and therapy techniques. You are never at a loss for ideas!