Oral Motor and Feeding/Swallowing Program

Who do we help?

Children with feeding and swallowing difficulties (dysphagia) may present with the following: 

  • refusing food or liquid
  • failure to accept different textures of food (e.g., only pureed foods or crunchy cereals)
  • long feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)
  • coughing or gagging during meals
  • excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose
  • gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality
  • frequent spitting up or vomiting

How do we help?

Children may experience feeding and swallowing issues as part of the following difficulties:

  • Physiological (e.g., reflux, constipation, food allergies/intolerance)
  • Sensory (over/under/mixed sensitivity in their mouths e.g., may not like toothbrushing or soft foods)
  • Oral motor (unable to suck, or chew and swallow food)
  • Behavioral (e.g., learnt behavior in response to food)

We work in collaboration with your doctors to help you and your child with feeding/swallowing difficulties. During the evaluation, we will ask questions about your child’s medical history, development, and symptoms. We will look at the strength and movement of the muscles involved in swallowing and observe feeding to see your child's posture, behavior, and oral movements during eating and drinking. We are trained to perform Videofluroscopy (VFS), which can be arranged as necessary.

We work with your child to improve the strength, movement, and coordination of the muscles of the mouth, thereby improving your child's feeding skills. These can include their chewing, drinking and sucking abilities. We work closely with you to increase acceptance of different foods and liquids for your child, by altering food texture or liquid consistencies if necessary. For young infants, we work on the coordination of the suck-swallow-breath pattern. With collaborative efforts, your support, and good problem-solving approach, we can help children enjoy feeding again!