How It Works
Most feeding therapy focuses on behavior and sensory processing. Emily sees feeding difficulties as a structural issue: muscle spasms or restrictions and nerve entrapments in the head and neck that interfere with swallowing and tongue function. She uses the Flourish Feeding method as a basis for treatment, and adds in acupressure and gentle manual therapies to free up restrictions and allow functional eating and swallowing. In addition, behavioral, adaptive and sensory strategies will be used as appropriate.
We recommend seeing a Paediatric specialist to rule out medical issues, lactation consultant (if you are nursing), addressing cleft lip or palate, and addressing any potential tongue or lip tie prior to starting Feeding Coaching.
We provide coaching for feeding issues. This means that your sessions are lessons in which you will learn ways to work with your child at home. If you are actively followed by a Medical Team, you will continue to follow their recommendations. As skills progress you will need to consult with your Team regarding any changes in your child's diet or feeding program.
Step 1 Contact Emily for a free consultation to find out if coaching is right for you via email firstname.lastname@example.org or Whatsapp +64 272554747. You will be asked about your child's birth and medical history and what programs you are involved in now. If there is adequate information on your child's medical status and you are ready to start a home program, we will schedule a first visit and you will be emailed intake forms and appointment reminders.
Step2 In preparation for your first visit, the technology has to be in place. Children do not necessarily perform on demand during live sessions. Technology, especially pictures and videos, allows your coach to know what child is doing, even if they won't do it during a session! You will need:
- Jane (Emily's office software) for securely completing your intake forms, seeing your documents, paying invoices and for some telehealth. You will be sent a link for this by Emily.
- Zoom- this is useful, especially if you want to record your sessions. Children may or may not participate during live sessions. Recording allows you to see your lesson when your child is ready to cooperate.
- Whatsapp or Signal- these are secure apps in which we can change pictures and videos. You will send pictures and videos of your child. Emily will send pictures and videos of the techniques you will be at home for the week.
Step 3 Send pictures and videos of common movement and postures for your child. Movement tells us a lot about how the brain and body are working. Also send a video of what happens if food (if your child is allowed to taste food or drink orally) or a toothbrush is near your child's mouth. Your child may simply turn away, and that is useful for evaluation purposes.
Step 4 Attend the first appointment. We will review your documents, videos, pictures etc and talk about how they relate to feeding skills and what we need to do to improve the skills. You will also get your first lesson in child massage. This massage will be the foundation of your feeding program. Usually it is a massage to improve digestion.
Step 5 In subsequent appointment your coaching program will include acupressure, kinesio-taping, and activities for you to do at home to support your child. You should expect to spend 1 hour on appointment days and at least 20min each day between appointments on your coaching program. Programs are based on two protocols: 1) Swallow protocol and 2) Oral motor protocol. However, each session activities are based on your child that day. Other common issues addressed in addition to swallowing and oral motor skills are: reflux, vomiting, pain, posture, developmental delays, teeth grinding, constipation, etc.
Step 6 Enjoy your program! Generally both caregivers and children enjoy the coaching program. Caregivers appreciate helping their child feel better in a tangible way. Children love massage and tape. They often ask for their massage or prefer to leave their tape on as long as possible.