The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach integrates motor, oral, behavioural/learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors and approaches in order to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth concerns. The SOS feeding therapy approach is based on typical developmental feeding steps, stages and skills found in children.
The SOS approach focuses on quality over quantity, the aim is to refine and develop feeding skills that are needed to be a successful, safe eater.
SOS approach can be done in a variety of settings including individual feeding therapy, group feeding therapy or home programming with follow-ups/check ins. There are different goals for therapy vs family meals but an overarching theme is to keep mealtime as positive and structured as possible to help your children’s relationship with food and mealtime.
The goal is the volume of food consumed, especially for our children with nutritional and growth concerns. Here are some SOS feeding and mealtime tips to introduce at home!
Therapy meals are typically done with a SOS feeding specialist and then carried over at home. The goal of a therapy meal is fun exploration of new foods!
The volume consumed is less important and can be done separate from mealtime since the goal is to work on skills and exposure, not eating (yet!) Children are encouraged to explore new foods and expand their food repertoire using systematic desensitisation (the use of competing relaxation responses during exposure to a graduated hierarchy of stimuli known to cause anxiety—i.e. food), social modelling and positive reinforcement!
Allegra is a speech language pathologist at NAPA Boston! She enjoys working closely with children with medically complex needs and finding the best approach to enable them to communicate with others. One of her favourite things to do is spend time with her younger sister, Christina who has Down syndrome. She also enjoys spending a week each summer at Camp PALS, an overnight summer camp for young adults with Down syndrome.
NAPA Centre is a world-renowned paediatric therapy clinic offering pediatric feeding therapy in intensive and traditional settings. The goal of NAPA’s feeding therapy programs is to provide families and their children with the skills and techniques necessary to love eating and to become safer, more comfortable, and confident in advancing their child’s feeding and swallowing skills.