Maximizing full potential.
KatieBug therapists have worked extensively with children with a variety of feeding challenges, from “picky eaters” to children with swallowing disorders. Feeding involves all aspects of eating and drinking. This includes oral acceptance, participation in mealtime, self-feeding, oral preparation and swallowing. It is a very complex and integrated process. A disruption at any aspect of the process may disrupt the development of motor and sensory skills needed for safe and pleasurable eating. A swallowing disorder may lead to a feeding disorder or maladaptive feeding behaviors.
We recognize that this struggle creates very challenging times for the child, parent and entire family. The child is often at risk for nutritional deficiencies, slow growth, and dehydration. This may also lead to other developmental delays.
We have worked with many children with feeding difficulties related to prematurity of birth, gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies, muscular dystrophies, cerebral palsy, failure to thrive, sensory processing disorder, motor-sensory challenges, and other neurological disorders to mention a few.
Our staff utilizes a variety of approaches which may include food chaining, SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory), oral-motor activities, graded sensory exploration, and behavior modification. We involve the child in fun and motivating activities to support safe and comfortable interactions with food. We engage the child in hands-on child-friendly “cooking” activities in the kitchen to make feeding therapy enjoyable.
The feeding therapy team may include a speech therapist, occupational therapist, and physical therapist depending on the individual infant, child and family’s needs. Our therapists have advanced training in treating swallowing/feeding disorders across the lifespan, from infancy onward with a variety of special skills including certification as Certified Lactation Consultant and Board Certified Swallowing Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. Our interdisciplinary team has advanced training in providing comprehensive therapy that is needed for infants and children before/after release of tongue/lip ties.
We willingly communicate with the child’s primary care physician and other specialists (allergist, ENT, GI doctor, dentist, pulmonologist, IBCLC & nutritionist), as the family deems appropriate.
KatieBug Therapy therapists are certified by their individual accrediting organizations and licensed by the State of Illinois.