Feeding, Swallowing and Myofunctional Disorder
Feeding and Swallowing
Having a child who does not feed or eat well can be troublesome, frustrating, confusing, and at times, medically concerning. Our Occupational Therapists and Speech Therapists are trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding Therapy, and the treatment of Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD).
- Feeding difficulties are often an early indication of underlying developmental challenges
- Not all children completely “outgrow” their feeding challenges
- Eating is the most complex physical task that humans engage in and the only task that requires every organ system and all 8 sensory systems to coordinate simultaneously.
- Eating is essentially a learned motor behavior after 6 months of age.
- Early intervention is key, but it is never too late to begin feeding and swallowing therapy
What is Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder?
An Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD) is a routine pattern of movement of the complex muscles of the mouth and/or face that results in a variety of whole body disturbances. Due to the complexity of the interrelated muscles of the human body, disordered patterns of the facial muscles lead to disturbances that affect the whole body. Disordered patterns may include the following: thumb sucking, open mouth breathing, forward resting posture of the tongue against or between the teeth, tongue thrust, and teeth grinding. Structural abnormalities such as a tongue-tie, lip-tie, or even a deviated septum, can result in the disordered motor patterns related to OMD. OMD in children can lead to abnormal growth and development, attention deficits, behavioral challenges, feeding difficulties, speech disorders, dental issues, orthodontic relapse, and much more. A comprehensive evaluation with an Orofacial Myologist can determine if treatment is warranted.
The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach
- A play-based program that teaches children to eat at a pace that respects their readiness to progress through learning the 32 different steps involved in the task of eating in a non-stressful way.
- Increases a child’s comfort level with a variety of foods.
- Our multi-disciplinary team of Speech and Occupational therapists assess the “whole child”: organ systems, muscles, development sensory, oral-motor, learning/behavior, cognition, nutrition, and environment.
- The SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) Approach to Feeding Program was developed by Dr. Kay Toomey and is used worldwide to treat feeding issues in infants, children, and adolescents.
If you think your baby, child, or adolescent may need a feeding assessment, don’t hesitate to reach out. Call us at 310.899.9597 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.