What is feeding therapy?
Feeding therapy involves identifying the reasons why a child is having a difficult time eating/participating in mealtimes and using play-based therapy to address those reasons. Treatment is individualized for each child and family, based on their needs. Therapy will help teach parents/families how to support their child in creating positive mealtimes at home, outside of therapy. Feeding therapy can help teach: age-appropriate chewing skills, self-feeding skills, how to introduce new foods to expand a restricted diet, positive language to use during mealtimes to reduce conflicts, how to position/seat a child at the table for more effective meals, and how to build oral skills in children who are tube-fed.
Who benefits from feeding therapy?
- have difficulty chewing or swallowing foods
- are unable to transition onto age-appropriate food textures
- eat less than 20 different foods
- cough, gag, vomit, or choke during feedings
- eat separate foods from the rest of the family
- rely on tube-feedings
- have difficulty consistently gaining weight/growing
- have brand-specific food preferences or are extremely rigid about the way foods look/are prepared
- refuse to sit at the table for meals
- cry or tantrum when new foods are introduced or when they are asked to join family mealtimes
- take longer than 30 minutes to finish meals
Ali Levine MS, CCC-SLP
SOS Certified Pediatric Feeding Therapist
Director, The Feeding Clinic, PLLC.
Ali Levine is a pediatric speech-language pathologist who specializes in feeding therapy and is the Feeding Clinic director at Pediatric GI of El Paso.
She received her bachelor’s degree from Baylor University, where she met her El Pasoan husband and her master’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. She always knew she was meant to work with children. Attending an SOS Approach to Feeding conference in 2018 caused her to discover that her greatest passion is helping children learn to eat and explore food. As a child, Ali was a borderline ‘problem feeder’ herself, which gave her extra insight and empathy while working with her patients and their families.
Ali is committed to treating children using evidence-based practices – she has received three Awards for Continuing Education from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in an effort to provide the best feeding therapy possible. When she’s not at work, Ali loves to spend time staying active with her husband and 3 large dogs.
The SOS Approach is the only results-driven feeding program with 30 years of proven clinical experience helping children learn the skills they need to eat well. We’ve been training professionals in the field about feeding challenges and how to best utilize our approach in their practices for decades, and the results speak for themselves.