About Us

South Florida Pediatric Feeding Specialists

Make An Appointment
Icon

MEET THE THERAPISTS

Andrea Alifano, MS, CCC-SLP

Speech language pathologist and feeding specialist received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in 2000 and continued her education at New York Medical College where she received a Master of Science degree in Speech Language Pathology in 2002. Andrea has worked in various settings including; acute care/NICU, sub-acute care, outpatient rehab, private practice, and early intervention in the natural environment setting. Andrea’s primary focus is the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. She is a member of the American Speech Language-Hearing Association and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence.

The majority of Andrea’s postmasters education and clinical practice has focused on oral motor feeding topics such as; the Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment Protocol, sensory integration disorders, and oral sensory feeding disorders as well as pediatric dysphagia. Andrea is certified in Vital Stimulation and the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding. She has provided clinical supervision for speech pathology students and completed several in staff training sessions on various pediatric feeding and dysphagia topics. Andrea launched the first intensive feeding program in Palm Beach County.

Taylor Thomas, MA, CCC-SLP

Speech language pathologist and feeding specialist graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders and went on to complete her Masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Maryland from 2004-2006. Her interest in pediatric feeding and swallowing therapy began while in graduate school, where she completed her internship at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital’s interdisciplinary intensive feeding and swallowing program. This is where her passion for working with children with a variety of feeding and swallowing disorders began.

Since this time, she has focused her career on helping children fulfill their potential for health, nutrition, and functional sensory-motor feeding skills, as well as helping families make feedings fun and pleasurable.

Since 2006, Taylor has practiced in a variety of medical pediatric settings, including inpatient, NICU, and outpatient hospital setting, private practice clinical setting, and in home/natural environment. Her areas of specialized clinical practice include oral motor, sensory-motor, and behavioral feeding disorders, oral pharyngeal dysphagia, neuromotor development, neonatal ICU development, motor speech disorders, Early Intervention and pediatric video-swallow studies. She is certified in Pediatric VitaI Stimulation, the Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale, the Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding, as well as completed several additional courses in feeding and swallowing disorders and NICU.

Andrea and Taylor teach post masters continuing education courses on topics related to pediatric feeding disorders and dysphagia. They also together launched the first intensive feeding program in south Florida.

Jennnifer Sherm MOTR/L

Occupational therapist specializing in pediatrics and children with feeding disorders received her Bachelor of Science degree from James Madison University in 2008. She continued her education at JMU and received her Masters of Occupational Therapy degree in 2010. Jenn has worked in a variety of settings including early intervention, home health, outpatient rehabilitation, prescribed pediatric extended care and private practice. She enjoys working with children who have feeding disorders and sensory processing difficulties.

Jenn has taken continuing education courses in Handwriting Without Tears, Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding, Beckman Oral Motor, Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Integration, NDT, The Alert Program, and DIR/Floortime®. She has also developed play groups for preschoolers. Jenn has supervised occupational therapy students as a clinical instructor and developed resource manuals for them as new practitioners. Jenn developed the OT role for the intensive feeding program at this facility to support children’s self feeding skills, postural control and sensory processing to help meal time be as successful as possible. She is passionate about working with families to help their child reach their maximum level of independence and excited to be a part of the team!

Brianna Sullivan, MA, CCC-SLP

Brianna Sullivan, MA, CCC-SLP completed her undergraduate studies in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Rhode Island. She continued on to obtain her Master’s degree is Speech Pathology from St. John’s University in Queens, NY. While in graduate school Brianna studied pediatric dysphagia while volunteering at a medical orphanage in Antigua, Guatemala. She created a feeding guide for nurses and volunteer feeders. Brianna has been professionally practicing speech therapy since 2013. She has presented twice at FLASHA’s annual conference; on pediatric dysphagia competencies and the importance of mental health in the success of rehabilitation therapies. Brianna has attended continuing education courses such as Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding When Children Won’t Eat: Picky Eaters vs. Problem Feeders, and Pediatric Feeding Disorders and Anxiety: Don’t Feed the Monster, among many others. She is eagerly involved in the American Speech and Hearing Association as a volunteer leader; earning the ASHA Early Career Professional Certificate in 2018. Currently, Brianna is enrolled in a post graduate certificate program in pediatric dysphagia at New York Medical College.

Does My Child Have A Feeding Disorder?

Wave

Click the button below to learn more

LEARN MORE

Does My Child Need Feeding Therapy?

Wave

Click the button below to learn more

LEARN MORE

Does My Child Qualify for Therapy?

Wave

Click the button below to learn more

LEARN MORE

About Our Program

The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida (PFISF) specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with various feeding and swallowing disorders using sensory, behavioral, and oral motor approaches as appropriate.  We are committed to implementing innovative methods to address complex feeding disorders to ensure positive outcomes that generalize to the natural environment and are long-lasting. We provide treatment for infants, children and adolescents with feeding and swallowing difficulties/disorders frequently associated with gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies/intolerances, prematurity, oral motor dysfunction, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, cleft lip/palate, failure to thrive, various syndromes, feeding tube dependance, sensory integration disorders, structural abnormalities (i.e. tongue tie) and cardio-respiratory conditions.

Make An Appointment