Having a child who does not feed well is a worrisome, frustrating, confusing and at times, medically concerning problem. We, at Southern Healthcare Specialists, understand how complex feeding difficulties can be. Because of these complexities, we believe it is important to look at the “whole” child and to assess as many of the possible contributing factors in a feeding problem through the use of a Multidisciplinary Evaluation Team. Our Team is made up of a Developmental Paediatrician, an Occupational Therapist and a Speech Pathologist. We are all committed to helping you and your child identify what is interfering with your child’s eating and how to improve their growth and interactions with food.
INTRODUCTION TO THE SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) APPROACH TO FEEDING PROGRAM
The SOS Approach to Feeding is a Transdisciplinary Program for assessing and treating children with feeding and weight/growth difficulties. It has been developed over the course of 30 years through the clinical work of Dr. Kay Toomey, in conjunction with colleagues from several different disciplines including: Paediatricians, Occupational Therapists, Registered Dietitians, and Speech Pathologists/Therapists. This program integrates motor, oral, behavioural/learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors and approaches in order to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems. It is based on, and grounded philosophically in, the “normal” developmental steps, stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. The treatment component of the program utilizes these typical developmental steps towards feeding to create a systematic desensitization hierarchy of skills/behaviours necessary for children to progress with eating various textures, and with growing at an appropriate rate for them. The assessment component of the program makes sure that all physical reasons for atypical feeding development are examined and appropriately treated medically. In addition, the SOS Approach works to identify any nutritional deficits and to develop recommendations as appropriate to each individual child’s growth parameters and needs. Skills across all developmental areas are also assessed with regards to feeding, as well as an examination of learning capabilities with regards to using the SOS program.