Grace Children’s Therapy in Sydney’s Hills District offers a multi-disciplinary program within the Occupational Therapy setting to assist families with fussy or problematic feeding. Our aim is to assist children meet a range of daily functional goals for participating in mealtimes. The program specifically assists children that are either picky eaters or problem feeders. We use the SOS approach to feeding as the foundation for our individualized Occupational Therapy intervention for attaining feeding functional goals.
Watch this video of our SOS feeding program facilitators presenting at a parent information night.
Working in collaboration with caregivers, the SOS Approach (The Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding) is used to scaffold in every-day strategies for your mealtimes. Eating isn’t as simple as placing a plate of food in front of a child and expecting them to eat. Eating is a learned skill and can be quite emotional or traumatic for some children.
We assist families in the following ways via the SOS Feeding Program:
- Provide education and knowledge around feeding difficulties and strategies to overcome struggles faced daily.
- Advocate for children in understanding the emotional and traumatic triggers associated with feeding and the possible discomfort felt by the child.
- Develop the child’s oral, sensory, motor, cognitive and emotional skills required for feeding.
- Provide treatment through a structured feeding program designed to develop your child’s hierarchy of skills, behaviour around food that are new and familiar and foster a collaborative approach to care.
- Support caregivers with resources and information aimed at continued improvements in home and community environments.
Modes of Delivery and Structure
At Grace Children’s therapy we deliver the feeding therapy program at our Castle Hill practice. We also have the capability to deliver the program online. Online component is with our transdisciplinary team and required the parent’s participation / assistance. Our program runs for 12 weeks.
Prior to starting the program, we ask you to complete a comprehensive set of forms (including mealtime stress indicators, 3-day diet history, feeding inventory and medical history). At your intake session, you attend one-on-one with our therapist and you will become familiar with the setting for your sessions each week (either at the centre or in the online space). We also require seeing your child eat a preferred food, so that we can set goals pertaining to eating skills along with other functional goals relating to feeding. The intake session is to determine a good fit for the peer group program and to ensure the goals and expectations are aligned before we start.
The program runs for 12 weeks at this point and each week consists of gross motor exercises followed by a structured therapy meal. The therapy meal includes a range of foods from a variety of food groups and texture groups. Reports are furnished throughout the program reviewing progress at the mid-way and final session of the program.
More about the SOS Approach to feeding
The SOS Approach to Feeding program was developed by Dr Kay Toomey. The program is an effective way to address problematic feeding bahaviours. Caregivers and parents of children who will not eat are faced with difficult and often puzzling challenges.
The interplay between weight gain, nutrition and a child’s experience with food is often complicated and there is rarely an easy solution when a feeding problem arises. The SOS Approach considers the child as a “whole” and looks at the organ systems, muscles, general development, sensory concerns, oral-motor skills, behaviour, cognition and nutrition as well as the considers the environmental factors impacting on mealtimes.
Grace Children’s Therapy focuses on increasing the child’s comfort level by allowing them time to explore food and discover the many different properties of food and allows the child to interact with food in a playful and non-stressful way.
Find out more about the program by signing up to our newsletter and selecting the feeding program in your preferences. Upon selection, you will receive 12 tips to improving feeding problems straight to your inbox.
Yet, to register your interest immediately in the program, please complete the contact form here or call us on 1300 760 779.