In order to maintain lifelong health, it is important for children to have a good relationship with food. Unfortunately, many children have difficulty with eating enough nutritious food to help them grow and be healthy. This trouble may stem from physical, sensory or occupational difficulties, which can be improved with the help of our professional therapists.
At Building Futures, we want to give every child the opportunity to grow, be healthy and achieve independence. If your infant is having trouble with breastfeeding or if your child is having trouble at mealtimes, call us at (318) 255-7550 to schedule an evaluation.
What Exactly is Feeding Therapy?
Feeding therapy refers to the tools and techniques that a qualified occupational or speech therapist uses to help a child improve their ability to eat. If your child is not eating enough, it’s likely they are not getting enough of the nutrients that will help their body grow and aid in their development. Sometimes the issue isn’t that the child can’t eat, it’s that they struggle tolerating foods of different textures and consistencies.
Our feeding therapy sessions will involve practicing the skills your child needs to be able to eat successfully. These skills may include chewing, swallowing, motor control, coordination and tolerating sensory input, depending on your child’s specific circumstances. Feeding therapy may also involve finding and practicing the use of assistive devices that will enable your child to eat independently.
Signs Your Child May Need Feeding Therapy
The best way to know if your child needs feeding therapy is to schedule them for an evaluation with our specialists. If you aren’t sure, there are a few signs you can be on the lookout for to determine if your child needs help. These signs include:
- Difficulty latching to the breast or bottle
- Trouble chewing and/or swallowing
- Difficulty using utensils or cups
- A cleft lip or palate
- Sensory processing disorder
- Severe picky eating
- Cerebral palsy
- Muscular dystrophy
- Poor coordination
- Delayed growth or failure to thrive
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)
- Pharyngeal dysphagia
- Choking or vomiting when eating
- Pocketing food
Infant Feeding Therapy
You know how important it is for your baby to drink enough breastmilk or formula every day. But did you know that occupational and speech therapists can help if your baby has trouble with breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
Our therapists at Building Futures can assess your baby to determine the cause of their feeding troubles. Some of these troubles may include:
- Tongue or lip ties
- Jaw weakness
- Cleft lip or palate
- Incoordination (“suck-swallow-breathe”)
- Down syndrome
Once the cause has been determined, we will create a personalized treatment plan designed to address your child’s needs. With routine therapy sessions, encouragement and practice, we can help your baby learn to feed properly and get the nutrients they need for healthy development.
Why You Should Choose Us
At Building Futures, we believe that every child deserves to lead as happy and healthy a life as possible, no matter their circumstances in life. We work to empower children and families every day with encouragement, support and tools to help them succeed in their goals. Our team truly believes that we help build a better future for children, one step at a time. If your child is having trouble with feeding, we want to help!
Our therapists are proud to work with our patients to help them achieve their goals, maintain their health, and develop skills that will benefit them for their whole lives. You want the best for your child and so do we. The first step toward building their better future is to call and schedule your appointment. Call today!
10/10 recommend Lactation consultant and OT Anna Dearman at Building Futures! My breastfed 2-month-old has been struggling with lots of gas and discomfort for the last month. This has resulted in constant fussiness throughout the day which has left me feeling terrible for my hurting baby and defeated at times. After trying probiotics and going through several bottles of gas drops, we decided to get an evaluation to see if he was latching appropriately at the breast. Anna performed an oral motor assessment and observed him while breastfeeding. She was then able to help me find a feeding position that encouraged a better latch to prevent air from being swallowed and ultimately prevent gas. After this one evaluation, I have already seen improvements in my baby’s feedings such as being able to complete an entire feed without becoming fussy and squirming at the breast! Anna also referred us to a dentist to help address some structural issues but I’ve already noticed an improvement and haven’t even seen the dentist yet! Cannot recommend Anna enough!!
I was a student at Building Futures and the therapists there are awesome! If a child receives more than one service, the therapists work together to make sure that the child is receiving the best care. The staff is also great at working with parents to make accommodations to scheduling as needed.