Chatterboxes’ Speech Language Pathologists are trained to utilize the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding, a family-centered treatment method to address pediatric feeding difficulties.
Feeding is one of the most complicated tasks your child will ever complete and a skill that takes most children at least two years to learn. To eat an age appropriate diet that meets his or her nutritional needs, your child’s internal organs, sensory system, and oral-motor muscles must all be developing appropriately and working together. Given the complexity of feeding, it is no wonder that roughly 25% of children struggle with eating at some point in their lives.
The SOS treatment approach takes the complexity of feeding into account, assessing the “whole child” to identify specific skills such as biting, chewing, and sensory modulation and regulation with which a child may be struggling. Often problematic feeding behaviors develop as a result of skills deficits and can be eliminated by building a child’s feeding abilities.
For example, a toddler with weak oral motor skills who has difficulty chewing will learn quickly that tough-to-chew foods like meats and raw vegetable do not work for her mouth; she may develop problem behaviors such as running from the table or tossing her plate on the floor to avoid taking a bite of these challenging foods. Similarly, a child with Autism who is unable to recognize his favorite yogurt when it’s not presented in its usual container may scream and cry when it’s presented in a new bowl. Identifying the underlying cause of these behaviors allows our clinicians to develop a treatment plan specifically tailored to your child’s unique needs.
During the therapy process, the SOS Approach uses systematic desensitization to enhance a child’s ability to explore and tolerate novel foods, by providing him or her opportunities to interact with new foods in increasingly complex ways. For example, a child who initially is not able to tolerate the sight of a certain food on the table will be taught through play to touch the food, kiss the food, lick the food, and ultimately taste, chew, and swallow it- all while having fun in an encouraging and relaxed environment.
Using play-based therapy techniques and positive reinforcement, children are taught the necessary skills they need to broaden the range of foods they consume and engage in positive mealtime behaviors. To ensure carryover to the home environment, clinicians work closely with parents and caregivers, offering detailed strategies to help children transfer skills from the therapy room to the dinner table.
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.