Feeding and Swallowing Therapy

Published On 12/04/2012

When eating does not come easily for kids, we offer several feeding therapy programs to help children become comfortable with eating. Our feeding and swallowing specialists can diagnose a variety of feeding and swallowing disorders in children.

The comprehensive program was the first of its kind in the region and offers a variety of evaluation and treatment methods. Our specialists have extensive pediatric feeding and swallowing therapy training through the Sensory Oral Sequential( SOS) Feeding Approach.

Our comprehensive team includes occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, pediatric nutritionists and developmental pediatricians. They determine barriers to eating and develop custom treatment strategies.

Diagnostic services include:

Individual Feeding Evaluation

Individual evaluations are recommended for children who eat a limited variety of foods, gag often on food, or have difficulty gaining weight. Based upon this evaluation, your child’s feeding strengths and family concerns are identified.  For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 901-287-4925.

Modified Barium Swallow Study

    This Modified Barium Swallow study helps to determine how well your child is swallowing and what can be done to make swallowing easier for your child. This study is recommended for children who cough, gag or sound congested during or after feedings, have multiple respiratory infections or appear “uncoordinated” when they suck from a bottle or eat. This study takes place in Le Bonheur’s Radiology department and is performed by our speech-language pathologists and radiologists.  

    During the study, your child will sit in a chair and receive small amounts of liquid barium to drink or eat. The barium can be seen on the X-ray as your child swallows. This procedure is performed either downtown at Le Bonheur Children’s or at Methodist Le Bonheur Hospital in Germantown. 

    To schedule an appointment:

      Therapy services include:

      Individual Feeding Therapy

      Feeding therapy helps children learn how to better use the muscles in their face and mouth and/or explore new foods in order to make eating a more comfortable and enjoyable experience. Families are a very important part of therapy, as they learn new skills and how to apply them in the home setting. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 901-287-4925.

        Training Meals Program

        “Training Meals” is for children age 18 months and older who eat a limited variety of foods, are picky eaters and/or may be transitioning from g-tube to eating by mouth. These therapeutic meals are based on the Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) family centered approach to feeding. Training Meals is led by speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists who are trained to help children learn how to accept a greater variety of foods. The group atmosphere provides a “no pressure” environment for children to explore foods and watch their peers explore food. Families play an important role in carrying over therapy at home to make feeding easier for their child. For more information, call 901-287-5860.

          For questions regarding therapy services, the referral process or insurance, please call 901-287-4925.