Feeding Therapy

Feeding therapy at TherapyWorks is centered on the child’s unique feeding needs. Our speech pathologists and occupational therapists address feeding difficulties in children from birth to teenager. We have found that a multidiscipline approach, which includes all members of a child’s medical and support team, is the best way to address feeding difficulties. We have 10 SOS-trained therapists, more than any other clinic in Oklahoma.

What we help with

* Picky Eaters

  • Decreased range or variety of foods; typically has 30 or more foods in their Food Range
  • Foods lost due to “burn out” from Food Jagging are usually eaten again after a 2-week break
  • Eats at least one food from most all nutrition or texture groups (e.g. purees, meltable foods, proteins, fruits)
  • Can tolerate New Foods on their plate; usually able to touch or taste food (even if reluctant)
  • Frequently eats a different set of foods at a meal than other family members; (typically eats at the same time and at the same table as other family members)
  • Sometimes reported by parent as a “picky eater” at well-child check-ups
  • Learns to eat New Foods in 20-25 steps on a Steps to Eating Hierarchy

* Problem Feeders

  • Restricted range or variety of foods usually eats less than 20 foods
  • Foods lost due to “burn out” from Food Jagging are not eaten again after a break, resulting in a further decrease in the # of foods eaten
  • Refuses entire categories of food textures or nutrition groups (e.g. soft cubes, meats, vegetables, hard mechanicals)
  • Cries, screams, tantrums, “falls apart” new foods are presented; complete refusal
  • Persistently reported by parents to be a “picky eater” at multiple well-child check-ups
  • Requires more than 25 steps to learn to eat new foods
*Posted with permission, copyright 2000/2010 Dr. Kay Toomey*


Treatments we offer

TherapyWorks primarily uses the SOS Approach to Feeding, which integrates sensory, motor, oral behavioral/learning, medical and nutritional factors to assess and treat children and provide support to their families. Trained therapists provide group and individual therapy in SOS Approach to Feeding making TherapyWorks an ongoing center for feeding therapy.

When to come to us

  • Ongoing poor weight gain (rate re percentiles falling) or weight loss
  • Ongoing choking, gagging, or coughing during meals
  • Ongoing problems with vomiting
  • More than one incident of nasal reflux
  • History of a traumatic choking incident
  • History of eating and breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
  • Parents reporting child as being “picky” at two or more well-child checks
  • Inability to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age
  • Inability to accept table food solids by 12 months of age
  • Inability to transition from breast/bottle to a cup by 16 months of age
  • Has not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
  • Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or nutrition group
  • Food range of fewer than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
  • An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
  • Family is fighting about food and feeding (ie. meals are a battle)
  • The parent repeatedly reports that the child is difficult for everyone to feed
  • Parental history of an eating disorder, with a child not meeting weight goals (parents not causing the problem, but may be more stressed and in need of extra supports)

What to expect

Our specially trained trans-disciplinary feeding team conducts several types of feeding assessments, which are used to evaluate infants, children, and adolescents with feeding, weight, and growth difficulties.

Assessment makes sure that all physical and sensory reasons for atypical feeding development are examined and thus can be appropriately treated (including medical issues).  In addition, skills across all developmental areas are assessed as they relate to feeding.