Feeding Team

Child refusing to eatThe IU13 Comprehensive Feeding Service provides specialized evaluation and intervention for children with documented or suspected difficulties with safe and effective eating at home and school.  

The feeding team consists of a speech language pathologist and an occupational therapist extensively trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory Approach (SOS) as well as expertise in oral motor difficulties and dysphagia (swallowing disorder). The feeding team service includes a thorough assessment incorporating the components of motor planning, positioning and seating, oral-motor abilities, sensory processing, respiration and digestion/nutrition. The assessment is then followed by a detailed report, communication with family/caregivers, therapists and educational team, as well as ongoing therapeutic intervention.

Who may be referred to the feeding team?

Children with disabilities who:

  • Exhibit difficulty chewing and/or swallowing food or liquids in a safe, effective, and timely manner
  • Show evidence of choking, coughing, or drooling
  • Display the potential to eat and/or drink by mouth
  • Benefit from oral motor exercises to improve swallowing and movement of tongue, lips, and cheeks
  • Demonstrate nutritional concerns related to limited food/liquid intake
  • Exhibit behavioral components of eating, which may include food refusal, attention and focus, food texture issues, and/or food selectivity

Benefits to sensory oral approach to feeding:

  • It’s fun! Places the control of food experiences in students’ hands
  • Removes strain and anxiety from mealtime experiences
  • Includes sensory strategies that can improve behavior, language, social interaction, and play
  • Can be implemented in a variety of settings
  • Involves students in mealtime preparation
  • Integrates fine motor, social, language, and behavioral goals into feeding

View/Download our Comprehensive Feeding Service brochure for more details.

For more information, please contact specialeducation@iu13.org or call 717-606-1738.