Ask A Therapist: Feeding Suggestions

Hi TalkTools,

I was at the Feeding Therapy: A Sensory Motor Approach course Lori Overland taught in Manhattan this past January. I’ve been in love with using what I’ve learned and have even become a go-to feeding person at my school.

I have a low-toned girl who has tongue protrusion at resting but can keep her mouth closed at times.  During all speech sounds, she produces with her tongue forward, and I am working on getting it back (have suggested use of straws).  Her teacher recently brought to my attention her difficulty with feeding.

When observed eating eggs, fish, rice-softer foods with less crunch-her tongue weakness definitely shows. The food just pools in the front of her mouth until she eventually spits it out, because she can’t swallow it. She turns her head to the side when chewing, which I’m assuming is her inability to dissociate her tongue from her head. With crunchier and longer foods, her teachers have done well teaching her to put it on the side.

I would like to implement some of the tongue lateralization exercises as well as the chewing hierarchy for her. It seems she has so much trouble even just initiating a swallow. I appreciate any further suggestions you have, and if you have any idea how to explain why she’s having difficulty with these softer foods.

All the Best,

Lisa

Hi Lisa,

Thank you for your kind words about the feeding class. It sounds like you are doing a great job. Here are a few suggestions for you:

  • Check under her tongue to make sure she doesn’t have a posterior tongue tie
  • Work on lateral tongue movement and the chewing hierarchy
  • Work on cheek mobility to help stabilize food
  • Use therapeutic feeding techniques at mealtime – she may be better able to swallow foods presented on the lateral molars
  • Work with her PT to establish a good seating position for feeding

Good luck!

Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP, C/NDT

Talktool admin 24 Jun 15

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