Sensory Solutions, LLC offers feeding groups, FOOD SCHOOL. Groups are led by Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists and a Dietician. The program is based upon Dr. Kay Toomey's SOS approach to feeding. Sensory Solutions owner, Sheree Behrndt, OTR/L has been practicing Dr. Toomey's approach for 6 years and has had great success when coupled with Sensory Integration therapy.
Clients are typically seen for individual Occupational and/or Speech Therapy services as well as group therapy. It has been found in our experience that peers motivate one another for success and reduce the anxiety of one on one treatment.
Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding integrates motor, oral, behavioral/ learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors and approaches in order to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/ growth problems. It is based on, and grounded philosophically in the "normal" developmental steps, stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. The program utilizes a 32 step hierarchy in getting a child to eat. Many believe that feeding is a two-step process, you sit down and you eat. The fact is, feeding requires 32 steps for the problem eater! Eating is the most complex physical task that human beings engage in. It is the ONLY human task which requires every one of your organ systems, and requires that all of those systems work correctly. One swallow for example takes 26 muscles and 6 cranial nerves to coordinate. Plus, eating is the ONLY task children do which require simultaneous coordination of all 8 of our sensory systems. Learning, Development, Nutrition and the Environment also have to be integrated in order that a child eats correctly.
Each group begins with gross motor warm up exercises, breathing exercises and progresses to oral motor skills, chewing and eventually eating. The groups are 60 minutes in duration with a 1:1 time for parents at the end of each session to review their child's progress.
Goals of the groups are to decrease anxiety towards new foods, increase socialization and peer interactions, increase jaw and oral motor strength and add new foods to a child's restricted diet. It has been found that children with feeding problems progress quicker if paired with other children with the same problems rather than a therapist or parent without feeding difficulties.
Food School is on-going throughout the year and a child is discharged based upon their progress.
Click here to download Karen Steitz's PowerPoint presentation Nutrition Goals and Objectives for Food School or view the presentation online by clicking the image below. Click here to view the presentation online.
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