Chatterboxes’ therapists work with children and their families to develop age-appropriate feeding skills and promote positive mealtime behaviors so as to foster healthy feeding habits during the critical early stages of a child’s life. Our feeding therapy program employs motor exercises, oral-motor techniques and/or procedures to optimize mealtime structure, as well as to explore and introduce new food types and textures.
The development of feeding skills is essential to a child’s physical, cognitive, and emotional growth. Children begin acquiring feeding skills as infants and gradually progress to have adult-like skills by the age of three. In these critical first three years of life, children learn to manage a variety of textures, starting with liquids and then advancing to purees and solids. They become increasingly skilled at using utensils and eventually become independent self-feeders.
Many children can be described as “picky eaters” in these early years, but when is it more than just being picky? A feeding disorder can manifest in a variety of ways. For instance, some children have an extremely restricted repertoire of ingested foods. Others do not consume enough volume to maintain a healthy weight. Still others may not be able to progress to age-appropriate textures. Whichever the feeding-related issue, the situation can be extremely stressful for both the child and their family.
Common Referral Criteria for A Feeding Evaluation Include:
- Delay in feeding milestones
- Weight loss or lack of weight gain for 2-3 months
- Persistent gagging or coughing while eating
- Irritability surrounding meals
- Severe behavior problems related to feeding
- Food refusal
Chatterboxes offers quality Speech-Language & Occupational Therapy in Boston, MA. We also offer flexible service options for your family. Call us today at 617-969-8255 or visit us at 121 Mt Vernon St, Boston, MA 02108.