Children with feeding challenges often find eating unpleasant, painful, stressful and hard work. These negative feeding experiences eventually lead to avoidant and aversive behaviors as the child learns to suppress their appetite and no longer recognize hunger as a cue to eat.
Eating is an instinctive drive in infancy, as we are born with primitive motor reflexes which help pave pathways in the brain for voluntary motor control through repeated practice and experience. However, these reflexes integrate at varying stages of infancy and eating will no longer be instinctive. Eating will become a learned behavior. Therefore, if your child has “learned” that eating is painful, negative, stressful, or too difficult, he/she will refuse to eat. Additionally, if your child did not exhibit the appropriate reflexive responses initially, this can lead to disorganized and dysfunctional feeding skills and inappropriate compensatory motor patterns.
Some children will outgrow picky eating but most do not. The children that do not outgrow pick eating typically have an underlying issue that has not been addressed (i.e. past/present reflux, sensory aversion, metabolic disorders, oromyofunctional disorders etc).
Commercial Insurance, CMS (Title 21 & Title 19), Amerihealth Caritas, Straight Medicaid, Early Steps (Palm Beach and Treasure Coast), Gardiner Scholarship, (Step Up For Students)
Since every child’s feeding disorder is different, your therapist will work with you to identify appropriate foods for your child and will discuss what needs to be brought from home and what will be provided at the office.
We have had families from out of town, out of state and out of country complete our program. We have collaborated with local Airbnbs and hotels in Boca Raton who have special rates for families enrolled in our program. Additionally, Boca Raton and surrounding areas have many family friendly activities to do during the day in between sessions.
We understand that the 8-week program may be difficult for some of our families due to work and other commitments. Some of our families found it beneficial to take leave of absence from work using the Family Medical Leave Act. Other families have used family members or other caregivers to bring their child to treatment. Your child’s consistent attendance is vital to his/her progress and we will be happy to work with you to make it happen. Summertime is a very busy time for the Intensive Feeding Program as it relieves the stress of navigating the full day schedule with school. If you are interested in receiving therapy during the Summer, it is important you start the process early and secure your spot.
Our intensive feeding program is a full day program. You can expect to be at the clinic from 8-2:30 pm or 8:30-3 pm. Scheduling changes week-to-week are based on schedule availability and we will do our best to make changes as needed. Throughout the day your child will receive three, 30-minute feeding therapy sessions and one 30 minute occupational therapy session. There will be one 30 minute meeting per week with the therapy team to discuss weekly progress and the upcoming week’s goals, as well as any home program recommendations.