The Intensive 8-week feeding program is designed to help children with moderate-severe feeding disorders develop functional feeding skills and improve their health and nutrition by providing intensive feeding intervention. The program focuses on a coordinated and integrated team approach consisting of speech pathologists, occupational therapists, nutritionist and you as parents, as well as collaboration with your child’s medical specialists including pediatrician, gastroenterologist, ENT, neurologist, dietician, and ABA therapists. We utilize a combination of sensory, oral motor, and behavioral approaches to maximize progress and are individualized to your child’s needs. Parents are part of the team process, helping to set and prioritize goals for the child and participate in therapy sessions as part of home carryover.
Children with moderate-severe sensory, motor and behavioral feeding disorders
Children who have made limited to no gains in outpatient therapy
Children ages 12 months and older
Children at risk for feeding tube placement
Children weaning from feeding tube dependence
Children who have ongoing poor weight gain and nutrition which is affecting their health and development
We have a 100% success rate at building functional feeding skills for children in our Intensive Feeding Program. The 2 month commitment is more than worth it, as children make faster and longer lasting gains in a shorter amount of time that generalize to home than compared to outpatient therapy. Outpatient therapy can last for years with slow progress, and overtime is a financial burden and scheduling becomes difficult as your family’s commitments increase.
Your child will receive an evaluation with our feeding team (speech pathologist and occupational therapist), allowing us to collect a detailed birth, medical, developmental, nutritional, and feeding history. Our occupational therapist will assess your child’s sensory processing skills, postural stability, fine motor skills, self feeding skills, and primary neuro-motor reflex development. Our feeding therapist will assess your child’s oral motor skills, oral sensory processing and behavioral responses with both preferred and non-preferred foods, as well as parent-child interactions involving food. Treatment approaches will be trailed to determine what works best for your child. You will be asked to bring a preferred and non-preferred food to the evaluation, as well as any feeding utensils used at home. After the evaluation, the therapists will discuss if your child would benefit most from our Intensive Feeding Program. In addition, your child will receive a nutritional consultation at least 1 week before starting the program. This consult will be conducted to assist with dietary recommendations, supplement considerations, and tube weaning when applicable.
You child will receive 3-30 minute feeding therapy sessions per day and 1 30-min occupational therapy session per day, 5 days a week for 8-weeks.
We do require a parent, caregiver, teacher, or nanny etc. stay with the child while at the Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida. The surrounding area of Boca Raton also has a lot of family friendly activities nearby that you can take part in when enrolled in the program. Parents and caregivers play a vital role in their children’s progress. During the final weeks of the program, parents and caregivers participate in parent training to ensure generalization to the home environment.
The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida supplies foods for the children in the feeding program. However, you are welcome to bring foods from home and we can store them in your child’s specific bin during the program. Please let your therapists know during the evaluation of any dietary restrictions, based on food allergies or religious beliefs.
On average, the program lasts 8-weeks. However, this can change depending on your child’s progress.
We collaborate with local Airbnbs who provide discounted rates to our families who enroll in the Intensive Feeding Program when available. Additionally, we have special rates with 2 local hotels in Boca Raton. We will be happy to assist you in finding the best location for your family.
The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida does not directly bill your insurance company for services received during the Intensive Feeding Program. We provide a weekly superbill for families to submit to their insurance company for direct reimbursement for services covered. Every insurance company reimburses families for services rendered differently. You will receive a contract regarding the Intensive Feeding Program’s policies and program costs before starting the program.
We have a team of speech pathologists (feeding specialists) and occupational
therapists on site. Our occupational therapists are specialized in feeding as well. We collaborate with your child’s specific medical specialists throughout the program and make referrals when necessary.
A nutritionist is also part of our team, providing consultations before, during and at completion of the program, to ensure your child is receiving optimal and individualized nutrition and supplement guidance to maximize health and wellness.
Our pediatric occupational therapy practitioners specialize in feeding, and help address the critical underlying skills of postural control, coordination, and sensory processing that are necessary for successful mealtimes. Occupational therapists also work to develop children’s fine and visual motor skills, sensory processing abilities, self help skills including self feeding, coordination, motor planning and play. Following your child’s occupational therapy evaluation, a therapy plan will be individualized to your child’s needs, targeting sensory exploration of food, postural development to sit independently at a table, grasp for self feeding, regulation to be able to attend and organize his or her body during feeding, and close collaboration with feeding therapists when needed to make meal time successful.
Your child will receive feeding therapy 1-5 days per week dependent on your child’s needs and the severity of his/her pediatric feeding disorder. Therapy will be ongoing until your child’s goals are met. In some cases, outpatient therapy may be recommended in preparation for admission into our 8-week Intensive Feeding Program or 1-week Feeding Bootcamp. We provide individualized, evidenced-based treatment for infants, children and adolescents with feeding and swallowing 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 genetic syndromes, feeding tube dependence, sensory integration disorders, structural abnormalities, and cardio-respiratory conditions.
Oromyofunctional intervention focuses on facilitating and stabilizing a normal resting posture between the tongue, jaw, palate, lips and teeth, which is important for optimal breathing, sleep, chewing, bolus formation, oral transit, and articulation. We collaborate with other medical professionals and make referrals as needed to treat the whole child.
Treatment goals include:
Therapeutic Listening Program is a treatment approach using sound-based intervention that provides engaging brain stimulation to improve overall performance in many areas.
Before you can schedule an evaluation you need to: