An effective, in individualized therapy for children who need support with feeding, meal time, and exploring new foods.
Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Feeding Therapy is provided by a fully-licensed and certified Occupational Therapist (OTR/L) who works with both child and family to address feeding issues in a comprehensive, holistic way. This approach is supported by over 30 years of clinical evidence that is shown to address issues such as ongoing poor weight gain or weight loss, "picky" eating, food refusal, frequent choking or gagging during meals, and fighting during mealtimes.
SOS uses principles and practices from multiple disciplines including psychology, nutrition/dietetics, occupational therapy, and speech-language pathology. It is grounded in the stages of feeding found in typically developing children. The approach combines a number of factors in order to fully understand and assess a child's feeding difficulties, including sensory processing, oral-motor/general motor skills, behavior, learning, and nutritional factors in order to fully evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems. Parents provide a list of preferred foods and supporting documents (growth charts, previous evaluations, etc.), then meet with a provider to collaboratively develop a plan of care.
This feeding approach is highly individualized and child-centered. Strategies are tailored to the child and evolve continuously to ensure growth toward feeding objectives. Parents/caregivers are actively involved in each session to reduce the stress levels of the child, while enabling the family to learn strategies that will be introduced and used at home. SOS Approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food at a pace that is comfortable for that child. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way; foods are gradually introduced, beginning with the ability to tolerate the presence of the food, then moving on to managing the smell of foods, learning about how foods feel on the body and in their mouth, and then enjoying tasting and eating new foods. Feeding sessions generally last 60 minutes, and take place once per week. After 12 weeks, the child’s progress is evaluated and with parent input, the team determines whether more services are required.
The SOS team understands that having a picky eater at home can result in stress for the whole family. The SOS approach to feeding is designed to be collaborative with parents and families to promote a positive, family-centered eating experience, and to teach skills that are transferable to the home. Our clinic team, which includes a multidisciplinary staff of occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts, and psychologists, will be available to child and family on a consultative basis to provide the support needed to address this important and often challenging part of daily life.