Oral Motor / Feeding
Oral Motor Delay
Typically, Oral Motor Delay is present in the child with feeding problems. The suck-swallow-breathe pattern in infants may be poorly developed. Muscles of the tongue, jaw and lips may be weak with chewing patterns underdeveloped.
Children will have difficulty drinking from a bottle or cup, chewing solid foods and with textures. Some children choke or gag on food while others drool and spill food from their mouths. Other children experience sensory issues transitioning to solids or when offered new foods. These children may be overly sensitive to specific tastes or textures or demonstrate an under-reaction to foods, craving spicy or crunchy foods.
Feeding Therapy (part of Speech Therapy):
Oral skills are at the root of eating and swallowing. Feeding disorders prevent these processes from going smoothly and can often inhibit their ability to do this safely. With oral motor/feeding therapy, our therapists ensure your child is receiving the best treatment plan to build muscle strength around the mouth, tongue function, improve chewing, swallowing and more. Children can have obstacles with their oral abilities which in turn affect the eating process. Our therapists discover why a child may be having issues and from there, designate the appropriate intervention needed. Our therapists establish a plan customized for each child.
Oral Motor/Feeding Milestones
- 4-6 months– Babies are introduced to soft solid foods such as cereals and pureed fruits and vegetables. Cup drinking may also be introduced (6 months).
- 6-9 months– Soft cookies may be introduced as well as ground or lumpy solids.
- 10-12 months-Mashed or soft table foods are introduced, babies will also take most of their liquids from a cup. At 12 months, babies have a controlled bite and are able to bite through cookies.
- 13-15 months– Continued improvement with biting skills, will also use a straw or regular cup.
- 16-18 months– Children are given more challenging foods that require chewing, such as meats and vegetables.
- 19-24 months– Children will begin to gain more control of cup drinking and will bite the cup less. They are learning to drink in longer sequences with little or no spillage.
- 2 years– Children are able to manage any type of food they like as they have learned all the skills they need to eat every type of food.
Common Referral Criteria for A Feeding Evaluation:
- Delay in feeding milestones
- Weight loss or lack of weight gain for 2-3 months
- Persistent gagging or coughing while eating
- Irritability surrounding meals
- Severe behavior problems related to feeding
- Food refusal or very limited diet
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17718 Hunting Bow Circle
Lutz, FL 33558
2241 Green Hedges Way
Wesley Chapel, FL 33544
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Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that we've gotten over the past 10+ years of empowering kids to bloom and succeed through therapy. For a full list of FAQ, click here.
What happens during our first visit?
Will my insurance cover an evaluation and/or therapy?
How long will my child need therapy?
What insurance plans do you currently accept?
We are currently in-network for Advent Health, Aetna, Aetna Better Health, Allied, BCBS, CHAMPVA, Cigna, CMS, Coventry, Health First Health Plan, Humana, Meritain, Molina, Multiplan, Simply Health, Staywell, Straight Medicaid, Sunshine, Sunshine Healthy Kids, Tricare Select and Prime, UHC, and UMR. Although we are out of network with some insurance companies at this time, you may still be eligible for coverage depending on your plan. In addition, being in-network does not always guarantee coverage for disorders that are developmental in nature. Please call the office to discuss your options.