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Current research indicates that approximately 1 in 4 children, from newborn to adolescents, are affected by a feeding disorder.

These may include food refusal, food selectivity, inadequate calorie consumption, and/or an inability to consume an age appropriate diet. Our feeding program is designed to work with resistant eaters and their families.

Swallowing/Feeding FAQs

These children often demonstrate one or more of the following:

  • Limited food selection (total of 15 foods or less)
  • Limited food groups (refusal of one or multiple food groups)
  • Anxiety and/or tantrums when presented with new foods.
  • Experience food jags (one or more food must be present at every meal prepared in the exact same manner)
  • Almost always eats different meal from the rest of the family
  • Diagnosed with a developmental delay of some form.
  • May at some point (or currently) require alternative forms of nutrition (i.e., feeding tube)

There are many different options available for feeding therapy. At LLA Therapy, our therapists follow the ideology of the SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) program developed by Dr. Kay Toomey. This program incorporates motor, oral, behavioral/learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors when approaching therapy. This approach is firmly grounded in the stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. Typical developmental steps are used to guide a child’s progress to eating various textures, and growing at an appropriate rate for them. The SOS program follows four basic tenets which include:

  • Myths about eating interfere with understanding and treating feeding problems.
  • Systematic desensitization is the best first approach to feeding treatment.
  • “Normal development” of feeding gives us the best blueprint for creating a feeding treatment plan
  • Food Hierarchies/choices play an important role in feeding treatment

Families will be asked to bring foods the child does and does not prefer to the evaluation. Bring anything that the child may use at home to help them feel more comfortable in the clinic setting. A multi-disciplinary team (when possible) will then observe the child eating preferred foods followed by non-preferred foods to gain a better insight into how the child reacts to each stimuli. Parent input is greatly valued during the evaluation and the family will receive a written report of all observations.

Based on the needs of the child they may be recommended for individual or group feeding therapy. Placement is determined by several factors including age of the child, number of other peers in feeding therapy who may be group candidates, and feeding concerns noted. Despite which treatment model is recommended best results always include at least one parent/caregiver present during all sessions.

In general, each treatment session begins with a set routine (perceptual preparation, sitting stability exercises, breathing and oral-motor exercises, handwashing, description/teaching about the food). Oral-motor and perceptual deficits are targeted through the food choices made and how they are presented (taste, size, textures, etc.). Children proceed through the developmental hierarchy with assistance from the therapist, positive social reinforcement is always used throughout this program. The range of foods not the volume of food consumed is what drives individual therapy sessions.

When will my child be done with feeding therapy?

The discharge criteria for therapy includes:

  • Child will readily initiate tasting a new food when presented, 80-90% of the time.
  • The child will have 30 different foods in his/her food repertoire. 10 will be proteins, 10 starches and 10 fruits/vegetables. (This number is recommended to go through 2 full days without repeating a food as to prevent food jagging.)
  • Child will achieve a weight/height growth curve appropriate for their age and medical condition.
  • The child will be able to eat age appropriate foods without gagging, vomiting or battling with parents/caregivers.
  • Child will be able to take in adequate amounts of fluids via an age appropriate container.

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Patient Reviews

LLA Therapy

Patient Reviews

Crystal Scheibe

Great place, glad we found them. Been going to Medina over 2 months now and he loves Lauryn and Kyler. Wish they had more ABA therapy places available... live in Wooster and long drive everyday.

Karrie Swan LaRock

My 11 year old son has dyslexia and has made noticeable gains in working At LLA THERAPY. Katie is strong in her approach toward him and also keeps him comfortable enough to perform well. We will continue visiting both the Fairlawn and Hudson offices and recommend them highly.

Ron Monroe

My 9 year old just completed about 9 months of weekly speech sessions (due to his stuttering) with Matt Hagge at LLA and we are thrilled with the experience and results. What I thought might be a negative (what kid really wants to go to speech class?) was made very positive by Matt, and my son never hesitated or complained when we talked about class. He really enjoyed it and really took what Matt taught him to heart. His speech has been greatly improved and we definitely recommend LLA. Thank you so much!

Heather Dougherty-Pantoja

My son’s Occupational Therapist, Jess, is an amazing OT! She gives practical tips on working with my son at home and school!

Terri Apgar

I cannot say enough good things about LLA Therapy. My daughter was a client of Teal Simmons’ for approximately 2 years and was just released from speech therapy! She was diagnosed with Apraxia in 2015 and worked with Teal twice a week. Through Teal’s application of PROMPT therapy, my daughter had age-appropriate speech after one year. All of the staff we interacted with at LLA were absolutely wonderful. They really care about what they do and making sure your child achieves their goals.

Kelli Geisler Davisson

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for my son as well as my family! My son always asks, "When can I go see Ms. Jeannine again, is it Monday??" He has also made huge gains in only 5 months! I would highly recommend LLA and have already shared my experience with friends looking for services!

Victoria Hansford-Price

We are so grateful for our Speech Therapist Ms.Teal. We have seen a great improvement with our sons confidence and communication abilities since we have started "Prompt" therapy. What we love the most about LLA and Ms. Teal is that Kohl feels comfortable and relaxed which has played a critical role in his progress. Thank you Ms. Teal for all you have done.

Laura Lee Hogsett

They have helped in numerous ways. Speech, OT and behavioral. I've had numerous compliments on my son's progress thanks in very large part to LLA. I would recommend LLA before I recommend our local children's hospitals, though they are good, they don't have the staff that LLA does.

Amy Furukawa

We had a great experience with Matt Hagge at LLA! Our Middle School age son was becoming very conscious of his voice, which is nasal due to a cleft palate. Matt helped him to better form his sounds and project his voice in a way that makes the unavoidable nasality less noticeable.Our son is more confident and outgoing & even took on a speaking role in the church play. Matt has the perfect personality to relate with our son, and we would recommend him to anyone needing speech therapy services!

Jessica Havalotti

LLA Therapy has been an excellent experience for our daughter. I would highly recommend LLA. Miss Grace was so amazing and I can't believe how quickly our daughter showed improvement. Thank you!
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