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Our Clients

Children who are recommended for feeding therapy usually have difficulty consuming enough calories to adequately sustain nutrition. Some children, especially those with more complex feeding disorders, may choke, gag, cough, or vomit before, during or after eating. Food and liquid refusals are common. Children with feeding disorders are treated using various approaches.

Bear Tracks Pediatric Therapies specializes in treating children with the following diagnoses:

Autism Spectrum

Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Language Delay
or Disorder

Developmental Delays

Oral-Motor

Feeding

Articulation

Dysarthria

Phonological Disorder

Stuttering

Cognitive, Problem Solving and Reasoning Deficits

Neurological /Genetic Disorders and associated speech-language challenges

Traumatic Brain Injury and associated speech-language challenges

Therapeutic Techniques

Who needs Feeding Therapy?

Children who are recommended for feeding therapy usually have difficulty consuming enough calories to adequately sustain nutrition. Some children, especially those with more complex feeding disorders, may choke, gag, cough, or vomit before, during or after eating. Food and liquid refusals are common. Children with feeding disorders are treated using various approaches.

How will a speech-language pathologist diagnose and help my child with a feeding difficulty?

A Feeding Evaluation is the first step for diagnosing/differentiating a feeding disorder (dysphagia) from a “picky eating” challenge. A feeding evaluation consists of a complete developmental, medical and behavioral history, a structural and functional assessment of face, jaw, lips, tongue, hard and soft palates, oral pharynx, and oral mucosa, observation of head-neck control, impression of airway adequacy and coordination of respiration and swallowing, assessment of secretion management, along with evaluating your child while he/she eats preferred and non-preferred foods.

Can you give an example of a feeding therapy approach?

One key therapy approach utilized by Bear Tracks Pediatric Therapies for sensory-based feeding disorders is the Sequential Oral-Sensory (SOS) Approach, which was developed by Dr. Kay Toomey. Our goal is to address medical, behavioral, oral-motor and sensory aspects of feeding which may be disrupting your child’s ability to eat normally and to gain weight.

Visual supports and behavior management aids are often used in conjunction with the SOS approach for children with Autism and others who benefit from visual, positive reinforcement.

Cognitive, Problem Solving, and Reasoning Deficit Therapy

We use a program called Visualizing and Verbalizing to help school-age children with deficits in executive functioning, including reading comprehension. This program by Nanci Bell develops concept imagery which is a key sensory-cognitive skill for language and reading comprehension, along with higher order thinking.

Articulation and Phonological Disorders

At Bear Tracks Pediatric Therapies, a variety of articulation and phonological approaches are used. A sample of these are: The Van Riper approach (also called the Traditional Approach), Paired-Stimuli approach, Paired Stimuli (Key Word) Program, Sensory-motor Program, Distinctive Features, Cycles Program, Metaphon Therapy, and Easy Does It For Phonology. The approach chosen for a particular child is based on a child’s type of speech disorder, age, and ability to participate and sustain attention to a particular approach.

Phonological Disorder

A phonological disorder refers to patterns of sound errors. For example, leaving off the final consonants of words like “t” and “m” (e.g., saying “si” for sit or “ha” for ham), or reducing consonant clusters to one sound (e.g., “fog” for frog, “top” for stop and “gape” for grape). The term “phonological disorder” emphasizes that speech requires knowledge of language. One technique is the Cycles Approach, where the therapist focuses on a class of sounds for remediation.

How will a speech-language pathologist diagnose and help my child with an articulation or phonological processing disorder?

For diagnosing a speech disorder, the SLP will obtain a case history, administer an established, norm-referenced diagnostic test and delineate whether your child’s challenges are motor- based, language based or the result of difficulties with speech motor planning (or a combination), perform an oral-motor exam, ask about your child’s hearing, and screen or administer a language test. Further evaluations may also be necessary. If your child cannot be formally tested, a play- based evaluation can be conducted.

At Bear Tracks Pediatric Therapies, a variety of articulation and phonological approaches are used. A sample of these are: The Van Riper approach (also called the Traditional Approach), Paired-Stimuli approach, Paired Stimuli (Key Word) Program, Sensory-motor Program, Distinctive Features, Cycles Program, Metaphon Therapy, and Easy Does It For Phonology. The approach chosen for a particular child is based on a child’s type of speech disorder, age, and ability to participate and sustain attention to a particular approach.

Articulation and Phonological Treatment

At Bear Tracks Pediatric Therapies, a variety of articulation and phonological approaches are used. A sample of these are: The Van Riper approach (also called the Traditional Approach), Paired-Stimuli approach, Paired Stimuli (Key Word) Program, Sensory-motor Program, Distinctive Features, Cycles Program, Metaphon Therapy, and Easy Does It For Phonology. The approach chosen for your child is generally based on your child’s type of speech disorder, age, and ability to participate and sustain attention to a particular approach.

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) Disorder

CAS refers to a speech disorder that presents as disrupted speech motor control. In this disorder, there is no weakness, paralysis or paresis of the speech mechanism. A speech-language pathologist who is trained and experienced with CAS can diagnose and treat children with this speech motor programming/planning deficit. One treatment for CAS we employ is the Kaufman Speech to Language protocol, which is a speech-motor programming skill for pediatric patients.