What is SOS Feeding?
The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding program is an effective way to address problematic feeding behaviours in a variety of settings and populations. Parents and caregivers of children who will not eat are faced with a difficult and often puzzling challenge. Because the interplay between weight gain and a child’s experience of food can be complicated, there is rarely an easy solution when a feeding problem arises. The SOS Approach uses a transdisciplinary team approach which assess the “whole child”: organ systems, muscles, sensory, oral-motor, learning/behaviour, cognition, nutrition and environment.
Children may not be eating due to either sensory, behavioural/learning, postural, fine motor or oral motor difficulties. Sometimes people think of these children as picky or fussy eaters. SOS focuses on increasing the child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food. The program teaches children how to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with seeing and smelling different foods in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods.
What ages can we see?
We are currently able to assess and treat children from 2 years old onwards, either in individual sessions or group therapy. Teenagers are also able to access feeding therapy through our “food detective” program which encourages them to explore and learn about the food.
What does a session look like?
Sessions will be run by one of our trained Occupational Therapist or Speech Pathologists. Before your initial assessment one of our friendly staff members will talk you through the process and provide you with an information pack which will consist of a few information collecting forms. These forms allow us to look into any past and current concerns or behaviours so that we can tailor therapy to your families specific needs. An initial assessment involves both an Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist assessing your child’s eating skills. After the assessment you will be provided with a written report and a take home package of strategies to start working on at home.
Further therapy may be recommended, depending on your child’s needs. Ongoing therapy may be in either individual sessions or a group setting. All sessions are planned around individual children’s goals. It is important that parents/guardians are involved in the session so that the therapist is able to model for you and teach the skills needed to carry through to mealtimes at home. SOS feeding sessions are designed to be messy and fun.
Does my child need feeding therapy?
If it’s tricky to get your child to eat, contact us today for some information on how we can help you.