What is feeding therapy?

Feeding therapy is designed for children and adults who have difficulty sucking, chewing, swallowing or accepting foods or liquids for a variety of reasons (e.g., sensory aversion, muscle weakness or muscle coordination).



What is the difference between a “picky eater,” a “problem eater” and a swallowing disorder?

A “picky eater” eats at least 30 foods, but is averse to certain textures, food groups or trying new foods. 

A “problem eater” has difficulty sucking, chewing and swallowing different types of foods as well as different food textures. This often results in the child having a very limited diet and refusal to try any new food. 

A person with a swallowing disorder (dysphagia) has difficulty controlling and/or moving food, liquid or pills from their mouth to their stomachs safely and accurately while also protecting their airway.



When should my child say their first words? When should I be concerned that they are delayed?

A child’s first words should be heard between 9 and 15 months old. Some children advance in motor skills earlier than others, and their first words may come later in the age-range. Other children will begin speaking towards the earlier end of the range. If your child is not producing any single words by 15 or 16 months, they should be evaluated by a speech-language pathologist.



I can understand my child, but others say he’s difficult to understand. Should I bring him in for an evaluation?

The general guideline is that by age 2, your child should be understood about 50% of the time.

At age 3 your child should be understood by their caregivers and produce the sounds p, b, m, and w in words.

By age 4, your child should be understood by individuals with whom they do not associate regularly and by family. They should be correctly producing the sounds t, d, k, g, and f.

At 5 years old, your child should be understood in all situations by most listeners and correctly produce most speech sounds.

If your child does not reach their speech milestones, or becomes frustrated when others ask them to repeat themselves, they would benefit from speech therapy.



What is the difference between receptive and expressive language?

Expressive language is the ability to share one’s thoughts, feelings and ideas. This can done verbally, through signs, or with an AAC device (picture exchange or technology-based).

Receptive language is the ability to understand language, ranging from simply identifying objects by name to following complex directions.