Frequently Asked Questions

  • How does an Occupational Therapist help with feeding therapy?
    Learning to eat is one of our first developmental skills. A child’s ability to eat a variety of foods and become an independent eater develops in synchrony with his age and development.. Feeding is a multi-complex skill that includes motor skills, sensory integration, physiology, social skills, and behavior. Remediation of concerns with feeding focuses on seeing the child as a whole person and carefully assessing a child’s history, abilities, family and social situation and their individual preferences.
  • Will my child be able to outgrow their feeding difficulty without therapy?
    Feeding problems that occur early in a child’s life are associated with behavioral disorders, anxiety disorders and feeding disorders later in life. All of a child’s physical, cognitive, emotional and social skills combined with their physical, social, sensory and emotional environment makeup and contribute to how a child eats. Not static, changes from day to day to week to months and years as they grow. Parents can always make changes as long as they still have some influence in their child’s life. A child’s feeding history becomes a part of them that we can see in how they eat and approach food. When to get help: Inability to eat foods appropriate for age, Very selective eating, Behaviors so extreme they are disrupting the rest of the family or family relationships, Not eating enough, Eating too much
  • What is the Division of Responsibility in eating?
    The Division of Responsibility, also known as sDOR, is the explanation of Ellyn Satter’s frame of reference for delineating jobs during a meal. These jobs change as a baby grows. Parents are responsible for planning, preparing, and presenting the food. This is also known as the what, when and where of a meal. The child is always responsible for deciding whether to eat, and how much to eat.
  • What feeding problems do you work with?
    I work with all types of feeding problems. With children who could not swallow, and children who are picky eaters. I have had success helping children to wean from tube to oral feedings, to learn to chew, to tolerate textures and to increase the variety of foods that they eat.
  • What areas do you serve?
    I treat children in their own homes or the homes, what we call their natural environment. I travel to the Los Angele Westside including Culver City, Beverly Hills, Beverlywood, Westchester, Santa Monica, and east to West Hollywood, Larchmont, La Brea, Korea Town and the Miracle Mile.
  • What happens during feeding therapy?
    After a good history has been taken and areas of concern are identified, the family, therapist and (child if age appropriate) come up with a set of goals, both short term and long term, specific for your child and family. Exercises, activities or methods for dealing with these concerns are outlined and mapped out. The therapist will meet with the child and family to carry out the plan of care.
  • What advice do you have for parents who are struggling?
    Get help from a skilled professional. If the first one doesn’t help, find another one with a different therapeutic orientation.
  • What can be expected from the first appointment?
    When evaluating and treating feeding problems, the first step is a thorough evaluation. The child’s medical and feeding history is carefully examined. Frequently, feeding problems begin early in life and can be traced to early health problems or the medical interventions that were done to cure them. Other causes may be from congenital, developmental, neurological, or physiological disorders and/or motor or sensory disorders that affect either the whole child or only their oral areas. For example, gastro-esophageal reflux is a common ailment of early infancy that has been shown to predispose babies to feeding disorders. A child’s developmental, emotional, and sensory-motor skills are all important to the big feeding picture and need to be assessed and integrated into the treatment plan. Oral motor and sensory problems need to be addressed and remediated and are frequently the foundational cause of many feeding problems.
  • What is the difference between picky eaters and problem feeders?
    Picky Eaters: > 30 different foods, Able to see, touch and sometimes taste new foods, Foods lost from list are usually regained, Eats at least 1 food/group of foods or textures, Will add new foods Problem Feeders: < 20 different foods, Foods lost from list are not regained, Will tantrum or freeze if presented with new food, Refuses all foods from certain groups or texture, Rarely adds new foods
  • My child has been referred to the Regional Center for therapy. What does that mean?
    Regional centers are nonprofit private corporations that contract with the Department of Developmental Services to provide or coordinate services and supports for individuals with developmental disabilities. They have offices throughout California. Their goal is to provide a local resource to help families find and access the many services available. To find out more about the California Regional Center System, and find which office is closest to you, go to:
  • How often will you work with my child?
    Children and their families are usually seen once or twice a week.
  • How long will my child need to be in therapy?
    Nobody can say how long it will take to resolve the concerns you and your child are having. It depends on the countless personal factors that are being addressed.
  • How do I know if my child’s feeding problems are normal or if I need help?
    Does your child have any of these symptoms? Inability to eat foods appropriate for his or her age, Picky eating or selective eating, Not eating enough to adequately gain or maintain weight, Behaviors associated with foods that are so extreme they disrupt the rest of the family or the family’s relationship with eating and mealtime. If you are worried about your child’s eating or eating patterns, consult with your health care provider for a referral to a feeding therapist in your area.
  • My child spits up a lot and doesn’t like to eat. What should I do?
    When a child has reflux or frequent vomiting, often the pain the child feels with or after eating leads to associating eating with pain and then rejection of all eating if it is not treated. Medical intervention is often necessary in addition to feeding therapy