The goal of the Therapeutic Feeding Program is to insure adequate nutrition and hydration, while simultaneously developing sensory and oral motor skills related to eating.
All students in the school program receive an annual Functional Feeding Assessment at the beginning of each school year, completed by the Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist. This functional assessment of eating and drinking skills, sensory issues, seating, utensil and cup use and food preferences and range.
The assessment results and informational provided on the Parental Feeding Information Form are then combined to develop an annual feeding program for each student, which is documented as the Functional Feeding Protocol. The feeding protocol serves as a guideline for school staff as to how to best meet the feeding needs of each child in order to develop age appropriate eating and drinking skills. The feeding needs of students may be met in daily individual or small group settings, using the most appropriate therapeutic intervention.
Feeding needs and skills are reevaluated and revised on an ongoing basis. In some cases, additional information, such as a swallow study, may be indicated to insure safe feeding practices.
Throughout the school year, coordination of feeding assessment results and therapeutic goals with the family remains a priority.