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 nutritionist depending on the individual child and family’s needs. Our therapists have advanced training in treating swallowing/feeding across the lifespan, from infancy onward with a variety of special skills including certification as Certified Lactation Counselors.
We willingly communicate with the child’s primary care physician and other specialists (allergist, ENT, GI doctor, dentist, pulmonologist, IBCLC), as the family deems appropriate.
Nutrition consultation may be incorporated into the treatment plan to provide parent education regarding food choices and good nutrition.
KatieBug Therapy therapists are certified by their individual accrediting organizations and licensed by the State of Illinois. They provide services in the clinic, home, and community settings. Individual and group therapy sessions are available as therapeutically appropriate.
Nutrition is a very important part of everyone’s health and well-being. Children especially require healthy balanced diets so that they can obtain adequate nutrition for optimal growth and development. Nutrition therapy can be very helpful in assisting children who struggle with meeting their nutrition requirements. By taking a closer look at a child’s daily intake, a Registered Dietitian can help educate parents on how to provide balance and assure nutritional needs are being met. Nutrition services provided at KatieBug Therapy Ltd include:
- Assistance with meal planning for young children
- Healthy eating guidelines for both younger and older children
- Help with picky eaters
- Portion sizes – how much is enough for your child
- Sack lunch ideas – healthy meal ideas for food on the go
- Label reading
- Diet evaluations to assure daily vitamin and mineral needs are met for good growth patterns
- Assistance with specialized diets
- Nutrition interventions for constipation
- Enteral nutrition therapy assistance
- Nutrition interventions to assist with overweight/obesity
- Nutrition interventions to assist with failure to thrive