Feeding and Oral Motor Assessments

Many people believe that the role of a speech-language pathologist (SLP) is limited to speech and language, however, we have a list of responsibilities including pediatric feeding evaluations. Feeding involves all the steps it takes to get food off the plate and into your mouth, while swallowing includes chewing, moving the food down the throat, and protecting the airway that leads into the lungs.

Our feeding assessments include:

  1. Medical & Feeding History including a Three-Day Diet Journal
  2. Parent/Caregiver Interview
  3. Video Observation of Meal (at home with caregiver)
  4. Direct Observation
  5. Oral Motor Examination

Our feeding specialist will observe you and your child during a mealtime while evaluating the following:

  • Oral motor skills
    • Sucking
    • Chewing
    • Controlling food and liquid
    • Use of age-appropriate utensils
  • Oral sensory skills
    • Aversion
    • Limited variety of foods
    • Extreme picky eating
    • Sensitivity to touch, textures, and flavors
    • Excessive gagging
    • Overstuffing
    • Holding food in the mouth for extensive periods of time
  • Swallowing
    • Coughing/choking while eating or drinking
    • Other signs or symptoms that the child may have food or liquid entering the airway (aspiration)
  • Mealtime behaviors
    • Response to mealtime and the feeding environment
    • Feeding environment
    • Parent/child interactions
    • Length of meal

Our Specialties Include:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Feeding-tube dependence
  • Bottle or formula dependence
  • Extreme food selectivity
  • Mealtime tantrums and excessive meal durations
  • Inability or refusal to increase textures
  • Inability or refusal to self-feed