Child & Family Development Child & Family Development

January 21, 2016

Speech therapist uses SOS‚Ñ¢ Approach to Feeding with kids and teens

Stephanie Tolley, MS, CCC-SLP, speech therapist at the Pineville office of Child and Family Development, is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory‚Ñ¢ (SOS) Approach to Feeding program.   

SOS‚Ñ¢ is a feeding approach for children who have trouble at mealtime.  This approach was founded by a child psychologist, Kay Tommey, PhD and a speech therapist, Erin Ross, PhD, CCC-SLP.  SOS‚Ñ¢ may be beneficial in many settings and populations. Parents and caregivers of children who will not eat are faced with a difficult and often puzzling challenge. Because the interplay between weight gain and a child‚Äôs experience of food can be complicated, there is rarely an easy solution when a feeding problem arises. The SOS Approach uses a transdisciplinary team approach which assess the ‚Äúwhole child‚Äù: organ systems, muscles, sensory development, oral motor, learning and behavior, cognition, nutrition and environment.  SOS‚Ñ¢focuses on increasing a child‚Äôs comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food and allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, kissing, and eventually tasting and eating foods

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Stephanie approves of this approach because it looks at the whole child in order to assess why a child is not eating or has a very limited diet.  Intervention then begins within a child‚Äôs comfort level and kids are allowed to explore and learn about food in a non-threatening way through play.  

If your child is a very picky eater or has a highly limited diet, consider scheduling a free phone Intake with one of the 5 SOS‚Ñ¢ trained speech therapists or occupational therapists at Child and Family Development to determine if an evaluation is recommended.

Read more about our SOS services here