Archive for the ‘Feeding’ Category

Orofacial Myotherapy

So, what is Orofacial Myology?

Mouthworks explains:

  • Orofacial Myology involves the synthesis of so many areas of expertise that the definitions seem to be infinite. Trying to articulate all that it involves in a simple way is challenging. The following will give you an overview: “The study and treatment of oral and facial muscles as they relate to speech, dentition, chewing/bolus collection, swallowing and overall mental and physical health.”

ASHA adds:

  • In other words, orofacial myologists help people use the muscles of their face and mouth to breathe, chew and swallow in a functionally correct and healthy way. Orofacial Myofunctional disorders are “any pattern involving oral and or orofacial musculature that interferes with normal growth, development or function of structures or calls attention to itself.”

What conditions can be helped by Orofacial Myotherapy?

  • Thumb sucking, finger, blanket and pacifier sucking, nail biting
  • Tongue thrust– forward tongue rest posture
  • Abnormal swallowing patterns
  • Abnormal functional breathing patterns
  • Abnormal neuromuscular patterns related to bolus formation, deglutition and mastication
  • Forward Head Posture
  • Open Mouth Posture
  • Teeth Moving after Orthodontics
  • Food lodging in the vestibule above the teeth (aging mouth dysfunction– “long of tooth”)

Joy Moeller, a Myofunctional Therapist, explains the five parts of treatment to improve orofacial disfunction:

  • Habit elimination therapy done with rewards and behavior modification
  • A series of therapy exercises which improve nasal breathing and oral facial functions.
  • Promoting proper chewing and swallowing
  • Re-patterning head and neck posture problems
  • Generalization and habituation of the new muscle pattern

Read more about Orofacial Myotherapy:

Posted by on May 19th, 2014 Comments Off on Orofacial Myotherapy


Information on Feeding Therapy and Picky Eaters!

Parents and caregivers come to CLASS, Inc. with a wide variety of concerns regarding their child’s or family member’s feeding. When a child comes to our clinic, a Speech and Language Pathologist conducts an in depth interview with the parents and caregivers regarding feeding concerns, the child’s feeding habits at home, preferences, likes, dislikes, etc. We ask that parents return to the following session with a 7-Day Diet, detailing the foods and drinks that the child consumes throughout the week. The SLP establishes rapport with the child, in order to allow a comfortable, welcoming environment for children to explore the ins and outs of eating.

The feeding therapy is individualized in order to meet the unique needs of the children and the overall concerns of the families. Some children may present with sensory aversions to certain tastes, smells and textures. Therapy may begin with exposure to these sensory inputs by touching food with hands, face, lips and mouth before eating. The therapist will guide the child through the process of learning to be more comfortable of a variety of foods, expanding his or her diet and demonstrating appropriate mealtime behavior (e.g., sitting at a table). Feeding therapy may also consist of learning appropriate biting and chewing, tongue movement for swallow preparation, as well as establishing age-appropriate self-feeding skills with utensils and/or cups, straws, etc. 

Information on picky eaters and how to prevent them!! Interesting view on food as the author describes “food literacy as a skill.”

Posted by on January 31st, 2014 Comments Off on Information on Feeding Therapy and Picky Eaters!


Best Positions for Feeding

Something that we don’t always think about and take into consideration is how our children are  positioned when we are feeding them.  For children who are having difficulties eating a variety of foods, how they are sitting can make the difference between success and failure, (i.e. aspirating food into their lungs, choking, gagging, vomiting).  There are three basic positions that I like to use.  The first one is illustrated below.  Pay attention to the ANGLES of the body; the hips and knees are at 90 degree angles, the back is straight, the feet are firmly planted on the floor and the hands rest upon the table. The feeder is presenting the food at the lower lip, so that the child does not have to look up,which creates a bad angle that is condusive to improper swallowing patterns.

Perfect Feeding Position #1

Posted by on February 27th, 2011 No Comments


Picky Eater versus Problem or Resistant Eater…What’s the Difference?




Has a history of smoothly transitioning from pureed baby food to baby foods with texture Has a history of difficulty in transitioning to different food textures as an infant or young child.
Easily transitioned to table foods and finger food Has a history of not eating table solids by 12 months of age
Able to fully transition from baby foods to table foods by 167 months Unable to transition from a diet composted of baby foods to one consisting of table foods by 16 months
Smoothly transitioned from breast and/or bottle to cup by 16 months (not sippy cup) Unable to transition to open cup by 16 months and remains on bottle or breast for most liquids
Typically eats at least one food from every food group Eliminates entire food groups and eats only one or two food groups, typically carbohydrates
Typically eats a variety of textures, (i.e. ice cream, hot dogs and cereal with milk) Prefers a single texture, usually either crunchy, (i.e. crackers) or smooth, (i.e. applesauce)
Eats a variety of different flavor types, Sticks to mainly one or two flavor families such as salty, (i.e. pretzels) sweet, (i.e. cookies) bland, (i.e. mac & cheese) or spicy, (i.e. ketchup)
Enjoys foods in a range of colors May only eat certain colors of food, often white to brown colors
Appears to be able to drink, chew and swallow without difficulty May have difficulty with the mechanics of eating and drinking; chokes, gags, coughs or looses food through nose while eating.
Feeds self at an appropriate age Relies on adults to feed some, if not all meals at an age when most children are feeding themselves
Eats most meals in a reasonable amount of time Takes an abnormally long amount of time to eat a meal (30 minutes or more)
Is able to sit and behave appropriately during meals as expected for a child of his or her age. Frequently pouts, whines, cries, tantrums, refuses, distracts, gets up from table and other inappropriate behaviors
Is generally polite and happy at mealtimes May demonstrate behavioral problems such as hitting, biting, kicking, and vomiting at mealtime as an attention-getting strategy.
Enjoys similar foods of different brands or from different restaurants, (i.e. frozen chicken nuggets, nuggets from MacDonald’s, Burger King & Red Robin) Notices small differences in similar foods and accepts only specific brands or from a single restaurants.
Tolerates the presence of new and/or different foods on the table or plate Displays anxiety in the presence of new and/or different foods.
Willing to touch and/or smell most new foods. Finds the smell and or texture of new foods noxious.
Willing to taste most new foods. May gag or vomit when tasting new foods
Preferences for different foods will wax and wane across time Often starts with a variety of different foods and eliminates foods or entire food groups over time.
Will eat non-preferred foods at a later date Once foods become non-preferred, they are not regained into the food repertoire
Usually eats more than 20 different foods Typically eats fewer than 15 different foods
Will not make themselves ill Restricted diet may negatively impact growth and development
Often no underlying medical conditions Frequently has another underlying medical condition, (i.e. ADD, sensory integration disorder, low tone, history of tube feeding, etc.).

Posted by on January 24th, 2011 No Comments


Picky Eating: When to Worry

My grandson is 19 months old.  He is a mild-mannered, go-with-the-flow kind of kid who has always enthusiastically eaten anything put in front of him; peeled grapes, cottage cheese, crunchy carrots, all forms of meat, you name it- he ate it. The other day his mother called to say that he has suddenly become a picky eater and is not even eating his favorite foods.

As a first time parent, she is of course worried about this sudden behavior change and attitude toward food.  Should she be worried?  No, not yet.  It is true that some children are more “hard wired” to be pickier eaters, and more frightened of new food than others.  However, most toddlers enter into a temporary picky eating phase that peaks at around 18 months and typically resolves if handled properly.  How this stage is handled makes a critical difference between your child going through a temporary phase or entering into a struggle for healthy eating habits.

It is theorized that because toddlers become more mobile and independent creatures, they become picky and sometimes downright fearful of different foods as a survival mechanism to keep them from eating everything in sight and thus poisoning themselves.

Some children, however, do not enter this survival oriented picky eating stage with the same history of a full repertoire of food exposure as Dorian has.  Parents who themselves are anxious or picky about food may not present a wide range of foods to their young child and/or model picky eating behaviors themselves.  This may lead to a toddler that either doesn’t like different foods, doesn’t want to try different foods and/or hasn’t developed the oral motor skills to be able to handle different types of foods resulting in frightening food related experiences consisting of choking sensations. Children with these histories often end up benefiting from feeding therapy.

Children of parents who force food upon them are another set of children that often end up benefiting from feeding therapy.  Healthy children eat enough to satiate their hunger.  The amount that they eat varies from meal to meal or even from week to week.  However, the amount of food consumed across the week is usually the correct amount for the child to continue to grow at a healthy rate.  Anxious parents may force too much food into their child resulting in the child being unable to regulate their eating based upon their own hunger.  Parents would be wise to take on the responsibility of offering their children a wide range of healthy food choices and encouraging their children to do control how much of those foods to consume.

Most children require many exposures of a new food before they will enjoy eating it.  Wise parents continue to introduce new foods and offer even “less preferred” foods.  Never assume that a first, second third or even fifth refusal of a food means that your child doesn’t like the food.  Keep offering it and model pleasurable consumption of those foods.

If your child continues to be overly picky or continues to reduce the range of foods he will eat, or is losing weight, consult with a therapist with specialized training and experience in treating picky eaters.

Contact CLASS, Inc. at to schedule a free consultation.

Posted by on November 10th, 2010 No Comments