What is the SOS Approach to Feeding?
The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding is a Transdisciplinary Program for assessing and treating children with feeding and weight/growth difficulties. The evidence-based intervention program integrates motor, oral, behavioural / learning, medical, sensory and nutritional factors to assist with addressing feeding/growth difficulties in children who have been identified as “picky eaters” or “problem feeders”.
It is based on, and grounded philosophically in, the “normal” developmental steps, stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. The treatment component of the program utilizes these typical developmental steps towards feeding (of which there are 32!) to create a systematic desensitization hierarchy of skills/behaviours necessary for children to progress with eating various textures, and with growing at an appropriate rate for them.
The basic tenets/principles of the SOS Approach to Feeding are below (will be further explained in first education session):
TENET 1 = Myths about eating interfere with understanding and treating feeding problems
TENET 2 = Systematic desensitization is the best first approach to feeding treatment
TENET 3 = “Normal Development” of feeding gives us the best blueprint for creating a feeding treatment plan
TENET 4 = Food hierarchies/choices play an important role in feeding treatment
In your child’s initial feeding assessment, they would have been evaluated by an individual therapist and then case conferenced with the trans-disciplinary team (consisting of Occupational Therapists, Speech Pathologists, Dietitian). Based on the Initial Feeding Assessment, a child can be assigned to an Individual Feeding Therapy, Group Feeding Therapy or given a home programme with phone follow-up.
Treatment of the feeding problem(s) always use the SOS Approach to Feeding Program. However, the basic structure in which the program is implemented depends on the child’s age and individual needs. The program your child will be participating in is a PEER GROUP.
There are several advantages to completing the Peer Feeding Group including:
Access to a wider variety of therapeutic foods which can be specifically prepared to meet the therapy needs of the children in the Group
The parents are able to objectively observe their child’s eating skills and behaviours, without having to simultaneously track and manage everything going on during the meal. The SOS Program also utilises a trained allied health professional to sit with the parents to facilitate parents learning in how to:
become better observers of their child’s behaviours without having to be involved in that behaviour
objectively evaluate their child’s skill level with various foods so they can make better food choices for their child
understand the ways in which children learn to eat and to not eat so that they can determine what their role mat have been in contributing to the feeding problems
carry out the feeding program in their home setting where they do have to manage all the pieces themselves
The allied health person with the parents, also create a parent support group environment, so that parents can talk about the experience of living with a child who has feeding problems (decreasing social isolation).
Peer Feeding Group Program Details
The SOS Approach Feeding Program will be being run as weekly sessions across the 10-week school term. These sessions are 2-hour group-sessions in which parent education and peer feeding will be occurring simultaneously – run by the various trained clinicians. A typical Peer Feeding Session will consist of the following program:
Sensory Preparation: Sensory Calming in the Treatment Room
Transition: Parent Walks Child into Room and Helps into their seat, Bubbles
Start Routine: Wash & Dry Hands, Plates & Napkins
Feeding/Playing: Foods are introduced one at a time, Therapists help children move through Hierarchy
Clean-Up Routine: Leader will tell everyone when session is complete, Children will help pack away food and wash table & themselves.
Meet the Therapists
The SOS team at The Physiotherapy Centre and Connect Allied Health Hub is made up of the below specialising allied health professionals.
Ashley | Occupational Therapist
Kate | Speech Pathologist
Maggie | Speech Pathologist
Gabby | Speech Pathologist
Elia Faa | Dietitian
Darren Rabbitt | Allied Health Assistant
Ashley | OT
Kate | Speech
Maggie | Speech
Gabby | Speech
Elia | Dietitian
Darren | All. Hlth Assist