Get Help For Your Child Today
Stress free mealtimes start here
How Pediatric Feeding Therapy (PFT) Can Help
Understand why your child is struggling with eating and/or drinking
Learn the skills necessary to be successful at home
Regain confidence in yourself as a parent
How Do I Know If My Child May Benefit From PFT?
Your child may benefit from feeding therapy if he or she…
- Has or has had a feeding tube
- Is not gaining weight
- Cries while drinking
- Will not drink from a bottle
- Arches his or her back or cries while drinking from a bottle
- Takes a long time to drink a bottle or eat
- Falls asleep while eating
- Coughs, chokes or gags when eating or drinking
- Holds food in their mouth and does not chew or swallow it
- Refuses specific types/textures of foods (e.g., meats, puree- applesauce, yogurt)
- Is so difficult to feed that you don’t look forward to feeding them or are not comfortable leaving them with a babysitter, grandparent, etc.
Children with the following diagnoses are more likely to have a pediatric feeding disorder that requires intervention…
- Failure to thrive
- Cerebral Palsy
- Down Syndrome
- Metabolic conditions
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Cleft lip and/or palate
- Heart conditions
- Chromosomal disorders
- Prematurity or spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit after birth
- Tongue tie
Meet Kelly Lonergan – Your Feeding Therapist
My passion is helping families who are struggling with feeding their baby or child. I have been through feeding challenges with my own three children and understand how frustrating and stressful it can be when you cannot find the right person to provide the help you know your child needs. I will work with you to establish goals and coordinate with your child’s other healthcare providers to create a therapy plan that helps you and your child develop the skills you need to make mealtimes more productive and enjoyable.
- 15 years of experience focused on helping babies and children with difficulty eating and drinking
- My advanced training allows me to see the big picture and to understand how different parts of a child’s body, environment, medical history and current conditions impact their ability to eat and drink
- Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology
- Certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment
- Trained in Beckman Oral Motor, SOS Approach to Feeding, Supporting Oral Feeding in Fragile Infants (SOFFI)
How Do Feeding Therapists Help Your Child?
What is a speech-language pathologist (SLP)?
SLPs are medical professionals who are trained to assess, diagnose and treat speech (the sounds we use when we talk), language (the words we use and how we use them) and swallowing problems across the lifespan.
How is a pediatric feeding therapist different from a speech-language pathologist??
- Pediatric feeding therapists are SLPs who focus on the specific niche of helping babies and children eat and drink. They have advanced training in assessing and treating pediatric feeding disorders.
What Other Parents Say
I was desperate for solutions and guidance
“I was desperate when I enlisted Kelly’s help, my 8-month-old was consistently rejecting all forms of food.
Without missing a beat, Kelly jumped in with a professional analysis and clear steps to help my daughter and me. Her compassionate approach put me at ease and made me feel like I had a solid path forward.
Within a few weeks, I had discovered that my daughter loves tart tastes, particularly limes and yogurt.
Today, my daughter is almost two and feeds herself a variety of foods. Her favorite food is still yogurt.”
Challenges with food textures
“My son started having difficulty eating when he was around 9 months old. He refused any type of food that wasn’t untextured baby food as it made him vomit.
After testing to check for any physical reasons for this issue, his doctor suggested feeding therapy. Enter Ms. Kelly.
She used many different methods to encourage him to not be afraid of having textures in his mouth. She let him eat whatever he wanted during therapy (awful combinations like apples dipped in ketchup!) and let him play with food (he left therapy one day covered in chocolate pudding!) to alleviate his fears of food and increase his interest in eating.
By the time he turned 3, he had been discharged from therapy and was eating like every other child.
She was always patient, kind and flexible. He doesn’t remember those days, but every time I see him eat apples dipped in ketchup (yes, he still does to this day) I am eternally thankful for Ms. Kelly.”
“Our daughter went through two major surgeries and ended up losing her ability to suck on a bottle. After spending months in the hospital, she was discharged with a g-tube as she didn’t have much urge to eat by mouth.
Kelly came to our home several times a month to teach our baby how to eat. The way Kelly watched, listened, and cared for my child through this process made all the difference.
She’s a life saver! Her intelligence with speech therapy is remarkable! She is hands down the BEST there is. I will forever be grateful for the time she spent with our family.”
How It Works…
What is the therapy process?
BEFORE WE MEET
I will send you an online intake form for you to complete prior to your first visit. This information helps me understand your child’s medical and feeding history which I will review prior to the evaluation.
Next in the therapy process is an in-person evaluation at my office that typically lasts 1-2 hours. At this time we will discuss your goals and challenges and I will watch your child eat, drink, play, etc. At the end of the evaluation, we will agree on the goals for your child’s therapy and schedule your first therapy session.
FEEDING AND/OR SPEECH THERAPY
Therapy sessions are typically scheduled every 1-2 weeks for 45-60 minutes. The actual frequency of visits and overall duration of the therapy plan varies from child to child depending on needs and things you are able to do at home.
To get the most out of the therapy process it is important that trust is established between the child, parent and therapist. I will work to build trust with you and your child. Trust is the foundation to children being willing to engage in any activity, especially eating and drinking. It can take a few sessions to build that trust and I may ask you to help with certain steps during that process.
What is the cost?
Initial evaluation (only happens once)
Recurring therapy sessions (virtual or in-person)
How long does therapy take?
The length of time that your child will need therapy depends on your child’s needs and your goals. Therapy will continue until your goals are reached and you feel confident in your ability to help your child at home.
Does PFT take insurance?
I do not accept insurance but I will provide you with a detailed invoice to submit to your carrier if desired.
If your insurance plan does offer full or partial reimbursement for out-of-network services, a physician referral is sometimes required.
I recommend that you reach out to your insurer directly to confirm the appropriate steps and expected reimbursement for your particular benefit plan.
Schedule a Free Consultation
Click here to schedule a free consultation to help you determine if PFT can help you and your child.