What does feeding therapy look like at Step by Step?
At the Step by Step Feeding Clinic, we incorporate a developmental approach to feeding therapy that considers the motor, sensory, and emotional needs of each child. While positive reinforcement is offered as a behavioral strategy to improve targeted behaviors, we do NOT provide true behavior-based feeding therapy. Our approach is based on principles including those described in Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility and Fraker, Cox, Walbert, and Fishbein’s Food Chaining Method, which provides a framework for improving feeding skills. Services are designed to provide parents with understanding of the likely causes of their child’s feeding difficulties and the tools to support positive, enjoyable mealtimes. Intervention may also involve helping parents navigate medical assessments and recommendations as well as occupational therapy to support sensory processing difficulties which are impacting mealtimes. Skill development is targeted through modification of foods as well as their presentation at mealtimes with the child as the primary feeder.
The goal of feeding therapy at Step by Step is to empower your child to transition to the next step of feeding in a safe and comfortable way. Our feeding therapy room resembles a kitchen and we work together at a table with the child sitting in a high chair or Special Tomato chair adjusted to their size to provide adequate positioning for eating. Families may choose to bring their own foods from home and/or food is prepped and provided by Step by Step. Parents and other family members (siblings, caregivers, grandparents) are included in the sessions as they are as important to facilitating change as is the child.