What is Feeding Therapy?

A feeding disorder occurs when an infant or child has difficulty eating or refusing to eat. There are many factors that may affect a child’s ability to eat such as medical complications or sensory and/or behavioral issues. Feeding problems can be a result of underlying medical complications, but can also be related to sensory and/or behavioral issues. Symptoms of a feeding disorder may include: refusal, swallowing difficulty, taking a long time to eat /drink, vomiting, choking, gagging, behavioral problems during mealtimes, and also a “picky” eater. Pediatric Hands on Therapy therapists frequently work with children with feeding disorders.

An evaluation will be conducted by an occupational therapist or a speech therapist. A specialized treatment plan will be developed based on the needs of the child. Feeding therapy entails specialized home programs and requires daily intervention at home from the family and caregivers. Family involvement is extremely important for feeding therapy to be successful.