Feeding therapy involves the evaluation and treatment of delays and disorders affecting feeding and nutrition.
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Feeding therapy, in its simplest form, is when a trained occupational or speech therapist helps teach a child how to eat or eat better.
Enrollment in feeding therapy begins with a comprehensive evaluation by one of our highly trained Speech Language Pathologists (SLP) and/or Occupational Therapists (OT) to determine if there are any concerns in the areas of the mechanics of eating and/or swallowing, nutrition due to limited food preferences, weight gain, sensory responses to food, etc. If the SLP or OT determines a weakness in any of the above areas, a plan of care specific to your child’s needs will be created to guide therapy. All of our Feeding Therapists have advanced degrees in their respective fields from accredited university programs. All have professional licensure granted by the state of Indiana and maintain First Steps certification. They participate in many hours of continuing education every year to stay up to date on the latest evidence-based practices.
what to look for
Signs Your Child May Benefit from
Feeding Therapy Services
There are many reasons why you or your pediatrician may be concerned about your child’s feeding skills/development including:
Delayed Developmental Milestones
Sensory Processing Issues
Food Allergies or Severe Reflux
Picky Eating/Limited Food Choices/Gagging During Meals/Not Eating Enough Calories, Etc.
Transition from Feeding Tube to Oral Nutrition
If therapy is determined to be necessary after the evaluation, your Feeding therapist will recommend how often they feel your child should be seen to make steady progress, typically 1-2 sessions per week. Your Feeding therapist will prepare each session targeting the goals established in your child’s plan of care. You and your child will be guided through specific steps/skills to become more proficient eaters. Feeding Therapy at Kidworks is typically conducted using food and utensils familiar to the child. Often, your child will not even know they are “working”! Parents frequently participate in therapy sessions. If not, your therapist will talk to you at the end of your child’s session and let you know what was targeted and how you can help your child until the next visit. If any specific techniques or strategies have proven helpful, your therapist will demonstrate them for you. At Kidworks we believe that parents and therapists working together results in the best outcomes for our clients.
We accept a wide variety of insurance plans in commercial, government and exchange arenas, including Medicaid.
The insurance experts at Kidworks will work with you to attain the maximum benefits to which you are entitled. Please contact our office for more information.
Kidworks has been a gift to our family from day one. I was a scared and near-tears mom who’s little boy just aged-out of Indiana’s First Steps and was given a list of places to call to get him more help. As I went through the list, the star aligned. I was surprised when the owner picked up the phone that day- a mom who was inspired by her own children and struggles to find help and who was determined enough to open her own clinic to help others. It was amazing how she could read my fear and know that I needed someone to really walk me through not only the process of “what do I do next,” but also support me with being a mom of a child with special needs for the first time. At the end of that conversation, I felt like someone finally knew how I was feeling and I felt confident getting my son an evaluation for services.
One day in my son’s occupational therapy session, we had a giant “light-bulb moment.” Our son was in the corner, staring at the hinges in the door. It was as though he was stuck there and had no interest in any other activity. I remember feeling really embarrassed by it. Then, after a while, Molly, our OT, crawled over to the door and started staring at the hinges with him. I asked her, “What are you doing?” She said, “I’m staring at the hinges. You have to enter his world.”
What she was really teaching me was that if I wanted to connect with my son, in a way he could understand, I was going to have to start seeing the world through his eyes. Meet him where he is at. And, from that day forward, nothing was the same. The growth my son had was incredible. She changed MY thinking, so that I could help my son when my therapist was not there. And now, 10 years later, we still refer to this moment and remind ourselves to get into his world. Just the other day, my husband said, “You need to go look at the hinges.”
We had many services over the years at Kidworks, including Speech Therapy, Music Group, Occupational Therapy, and various social clubs. I owe so many profound experiences in my life to the therapists at Kidworks. My son struggled to talk and spent a lot of time screaming for his needs early on. Then, when he learned to talk, he only spoke back the things he heard. He could say, line for line, every commercial, cartoon, or movie line he ever watched and would say it in a sort of robotic way. He would use these “scripts” to try to communicate with us. For many years, he had never spoken a word that came from his own mind. Then, one day, he said, “I love you” to me and it was different. I wasn’t scripted and it wasn’t spoken in that way where you knew it was from something he watched on TV.
I was lucky enough to be the first one to hear him say words from his mind and his heart and I owe that to Ann, his Speech Therapist. Ann was incredibly supportive and went above and beyond the role of SLP over the years. She watched my son and my family grow not only in size, but in knowledge and confidence. She helped us, help ourselves until the day he “graduated” speech therapy, a truly bittersweet moment for our family.
Many times, when I hear my son chatter on and on today, I think back to those days early on with Ann and think how lucky we were to have her.
I cannot express my gratitude enough to all the therapists that helped my son and my family over the years at Kidworks. Our town is so lucky to have a clinic like this- one that leads with their hearts.
Our Office Address
1120 S Calumet, Suite 3
Chesterton, IN 46304
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