What does the process of individual feeding therapy look like?
The Individual Feeding Therapy process is broken down into four (4) specific phases:
Prior to our first meeting with you and your child, we will ask you to complete an online intake questionnaire and applicable forms. We will also ask that you send us any relevant documents pertaining to other services your child has received. The information you provide will help us understand your child’s medical, behavioral, and feeding history.
We will schedule an in-depth evaluation appointment that will last up to 2 hours. During this time, we will discuss your challenges, concerns, and questions. We will then watch your child eat, drink and play, as applicable. At the conclusion of our time together, we will outline and agree on the goals for your child’s therapy program.
You will then be able to decide if you would like to move forward with the Focused on Feeding Program to assist you in overcoming your child’s feeding challenges. If you choose to move forward, we will then schedule your child’s first therapy session.
Intensive Therapy Sessions
Each therapy session will be scheduled for up to 60 minutes per weekday for six weeks. the sessions will include direct child therapy as well as parent learning sessions.
The actual frequency of visits and overall duration of therapy plan varies from child to child deepening on their individual needs. We will decide on a follow-up plan to ensure the learnings from the therapy sessions has been sustained.
What is the role of the parent during the Focused On Feeding Program?
Feeding therapy for children is a team effort between the child, the parent, and the therapist. During each session, we will review the steps that will need to be practiced and performed at home between our sessions. Some plans may include steps to be taken during each meal and some plans may recommend one practice meal per day, during snack time.
We will work closely with you and your child’s schedule to develop an individualized, workable plan. Being engaged during the therapy sessions and committing to the program is critical to helping your child progress as quickly as possible.
Where are the sessions held?
Most sessions will be held via a HIPAA compliant, online platform. In some instances, we may discuss the option for home appointments.
How long will my child need this type of therapy?
Most children receive feeding therapy for 6 – 9 months. The length of time your child will need therapy will depend on your child’s needs and your goals.
How will I know when therapy is complete?
Therapy will continue until your goals are met and you feel confident in your ability to continue to help your child at home.
My child has had SOS Therapy. How is Individual Feeding Therapy different?
Sensory Oral Sensory (SOS) and other sensory based therapies focus on moving children through a sequence of steps in hopes the child will eventually learn to eat the foods. Children are asked to look at, smell, touch, taste and potentially eat the food. Tasting and spitting out the food is common and often this is where the child gets stuck. Treatment is also discontinued when the child demonstrates poor tolerance. Food selection for treatment is random and not related to what the child currently eats. Some children who have undergone the SOS method report feeling highly anxious since they never know what food was going to show up on their plate. The Focused on Feeding program is based on providing structure to the meal and starting with new foods that are very close to the foods the child is currently eating. We practice the skill of eating (consuming the food) not spitting or playing with the food. Using positive reinforcement and low, along with slow and steady steps, the child can gain confidence to try new foods and work to expand their diet.
My child is older and has significant anxiety around eating new foods. Is it too late to help expand their food selection and diet?
It is never too late to address feeding difficulties. For most children, it may be more challenging as they get older since they have developed a longer history of food refusal. The good news is it is still possible. The benefit to older children is they have a better understanding of difficulties and are more receptive to coaching. Sometimes, it may be determined during the evaluation, there are other areas of concerns that need to be addressed prior to beginning individual feeding therapy.
What is Child Guided Therapy?
With Child Guided Therapy, the therapist carefully reads the cues of the child to set up an environment where new skills can be learned with support, encouragement and adult/professional input and guidance. The child is guided to challenge themselves to take small steps outside of their natural comfort zone.
Children are presented with many non-preferred tasks during their day that need to be completed for their safety, growth, and development. As parents and caregivers, we help guide children to successfully complete those tasks – like bucking in a car seat, taking medicine or going to school. For some children, eating is viewed as a non-preferred task. Eating an appropriate volume and a variety of foods falls into the same category as helping your child understand the need to buckle up, take their medicine or go to school.
Will using toys, video or other positive reinforcement tools make my child not want to eat without them?
Most people intrinsically enjoy eating food. We can sit in an empty room and find pleasure by food consumption. For some people, including children with feeding difficulties, they may lack this internal drive to eat. To help develop the drive to eat, pairing eating with something that is enjoyable to them helps associate the two activities. Once the child begins consistently eating successfully, these extra activities can be faded out.
Pairing preferred items with many non-intrinsically motivating tasks for our children is quite common. Things like stickers or candy for potty training, extra books at bedtime for good teeth brushing, screen time for cleaning their bedroom, etc. are all examples of pairing. As our children grow and master these tasks, those extra incentives are faded out.
What supplies will I need?
Following the evaluation, you will be provided a list of supplies and food items that you will need to have available for the therapy sessions. Some of the typical items that may be needed include a digital timer, a blender, specific utensils if learning to self-feed, resistive chewing tools and of course, specific food.
Program Costs and Payment Options
Do you accept insurance?
All sessions are private pay. Options are available for packaging sessions to assist with cost.
How much does feeding therapy cost?
The initial evaluation of your child and their needs is $300 and will last 1-2 hours.
Once the initial evaluation is completed, you will be provided with a Good Faith estimate of costs for your child’s therapy and the number of sessions to achieve your goals. As with most therapy sessions, progress may vary and is dependent on your child’s ability to practice the steps and the parent’s ability to commit to the program’s criteria for success.
What payment methods do you accept?
Credit or debit cards via online processing system.
What is your cancellation policy?
Cancellations and/or no shows within 24 hours of your scheduled session will be charged at the full hourly rate. If your child is sick and not able to participate in a session or there are other extenuating circumstances, we will work with you as appropriate to reschedule.
What services does Focused Approach offer for clinics and professionals?
We currently offer feeding therapy training, individual consultations, and CEU courses.
How can our clinic benefit from your training programs?
- It’s Complementary to Your Existing Services: Our program seamlessly integrates with your current offerings, making your clinic the go-to destination for all your patients’ needs
- Improves Client Attendance: Parents prioritize feeding therapy appointments. By offering Focused on Feeding, you’ll ensure consistent attendance, boosting your client success rate
- Unlocks a New Revenue Stream: Don’t lose valuable billable hours. Keep your patients in your clinic for feeding therapy appointments and increase your revenue potential
- Accelerates Client Success: Feeding difficulties, inadequate nutrition, and hunger can hinder progress in other therapies. Remove this roadblock and help your clients achieve faster results
- Enhances Staff Satisfaction and Retention: We understand the importance of professional development. By implementing Focused on Feeding, you’ll keep your therapists engaged, valued, and satisfied
- Uses Proven Techniques: Focused on Feeding utilizes familiar and proven techniques that your therapists are already trained in. We tailor these techniques specifically to treat feeding disorders
Who should attend Focused Approach training programs?
BCBAs and RBTs that are going to be implementing the procedures are going to benefit the most. However, anyone is welcomed and encouraged to attend to expand their knowledge of feeding disorders and treatment interventions.
What makes the Focused Approach Focused on Feeding program different from others?
Many other programs use sensory-based strategies, such as exploring and playing with food, prior to eating.
At Focused Approach, we use principles of applied behavior analysis to improve eating skills in children. Our proven program focuses on food consumption, rather than the child’s interaction with food.
We also recognize the significance of the child’s environment in laying the foundation for their long-term success. To achieve this, we prepare clinics to provide feeding therapy in real-world settings, both in-person at the clinic and virtual sessions in the home.
Can you customize training to meet our clinic’s specific needs?
Yes, we offer tailored training and consultation services to align with your clinic’s goals and requirements
What age groups of children can benefit from feeding therapy?
Feeding therapy can benefit children of all ages, from babies just starting solids at six months old with feeding difficulties to older children / young adults with sensory or behavioral feeding challenges.
What is the cost of your training and consultation services?
Our pricing varies depending on the scope and duration of services needed. Please contact us for a personalized quote and information on available packages.
How can our clinic get started with your training and consultation services?
To get started, please reach out to our team through our contact page to schedule a meeting . We will guide you through the process and discuss your clinic’s specific needs.
Do you offer ongoing support and resources after completing the training programs?
Yes. An important component of the Focused on Feeding training program is direct consultation and supervision/feedback for BCBAs and RBTs with their clients with feeding difficulties. This ensures appropriate implementation of techniques learned during training. Even after a clinic has reached autonomy in treatment implementation, we continue to provide as needed support, updates on the latest research, and opportunities for additional training to keep your clinic up-to-date with best practices in feeding therapy.