What is SOS Feeding Therapy?
The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach has been developed over the course of 30 years through the clinical work of Dr. Kay Toomey and colleagues. It is a transdisciplinary program for assessing and treating children who are picky eaters, problem feeders, and/or have weight & growth difficulties. This program addresses motor, oral, behavior/learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors that impact the development of feeding skills.
Our Feeding Therapists
A feeding therapist is typically a licensed occupational therapist or speech and language pathologist. Both professionals require a minimum of a masters degree in their field and continuing education specifically designed to learn about pediatric feeding disorders and feeding therapy. Feeding therapists are trained to address the overall motor skills, oral motor skills, and sensory aspects of both picky eaters and problem feeders.
What are the Benefits of SOS Feeding Therapy?
SOS feeding therapy is child based and play based, and will never include force feeding or other methods that create additional fear and food resistance. The SOS feeding approach addresses all areas of feeding including baseline motor skills, oral motor skills, and emotional and sensory skills that feeding requires. The normal development of feeding is followed, ensuring the child meets each skill at each level and does not develop splinter skills that are not generalized and maintained. Food hierarchies (sequential eating) and choices play an important role in feeding treatment. Children learn they can eat a variety of foods and maintain the ability to make choices and feel safe.
The goals of a SOS feeding program are for a child to have 30 foods in his repertoire, including 10 proteins, 10 starches, and 10 fruits/vegetables. Also, the child should be able to eat age-appropriate foods without gagging, vomiting, or doing battle with family.
Our Experts are Experienced in
TES’ approach to SOS Therapy
How do we make therapy fun?
Sensory based movement play preparation and creative play with all food modalities make therapy fun.
How do we work as a team?
All disciplines at TES therapy are in constant communication and consultation on a daily basis.
How do we include the family?
Parents are involved in every step of the way with clear communication of what has occurred during therapy and what their steps are in the home. Building relationships with families is a strength of TES therapists.
FAQs About SOS Feeding Therapy
How do you explain SOS Feeding Therapy to a child?
We teach the children that our job is to help our bodies feel safe and secure and to eat a variety of foods to have a healthy body. For the most part, they are encouraged to view the sessions as play. We talk about food textures, color, taste and other qualities within a play-based session.
How can I do Feeding Therapy at home?
Feeding therapy at home includes active participation and following the presented routine of family meals per the recommendation of your feeding therapist. Home based support also includes exposure to and play based engagement in novel foods per the recommendation of your feeding therapist.
Is Feeding Therapy considered Occupational Therapy?
Feeding therapy can be conducted by either an occupational therapist or a speech therapist appropriately trained to conduct feeding therapy. It is imperative the therapist is trained in feeding therapy as both picky eaters and problem feeders have very few foods to meet their nutritional needs. Therapist error and loss of existing foods can have strong health implications for children.
What does Feeding Therapy consist of?
A feeding therapy session will consist of sensory preparation including preparation of the larger motor skills of the body. The session will progress to addressing oral motor skills with the use of actual foods, utensils, and other tools related to eating in order to familiarize the children with all aspects of eating. Finally, the children are encouraged to work up the steps to eating with a variety of foods specifically chosen for that treatment session through play-based interactions with actual foods.
Our Therapists' Credentials
Ohio-Master of Occupational Therapy; training in SOS feeding. We have an OTA trained as well.