Having clinical experience relating to dysphagia in the NICU, PICU, preschool, and clinic setting, Melissa’s true passion is working with children who have feeding difficulties.
Melissa provides feeding therapy to children aged 0 months-21 years old. Melissa has experience working with neonatal infants. Melissa provides feeding therapy to children with medical diagnoses (gastroesophogeal reflux, cardiac conditions, pulmonary conditions) including dysphagia and genetic syndromes (e.g. Down Syndrome, Turner Syndrome, epilepsy, Cystic Fibrosis, muscular dystrophy) which may limit a child’s ability to orally feed.
What Feeding Therapy Looks Like:
Treatment is provided in the child’s natural environment to help facilitate carry over of oral motor and sensory skills worked on during therapy. Melissa works closely with the child’s medical team (pediatrician, gastroenterologist, pulmonologist, nutritionist, occupational therapist, physical therapist) to ensure a comprehensive approach to feeding therapy.
Melissa ensures the treatment is family centered, taking into account the degree of stress feeding disorders have on the family. Parents are encouraged to participate and learn during feeding therapy sessions to help carry over the skills targeted in treatment. Melissa provides an individualized home program that is emailed to every family member and caregiver to help facilitate the skill set your child needs to have success in therapy.
Melissa uses a variety of different treatment approaches to target the sensory, oral motor, and behavioral components that related to feeding difficulties in the pediatric population. Her goal is to help design a therapy program specific to your child that can help them meet their meal time goals!
Melissa can help your child if they are diagnosed with or display symptoms of the following:
- difficulty breast feeding
- oral aversions
- bottle refusal
- difficulty transitioning to pureed or solid foods
- limited variety within diet
- limited colors within foods
- limited textures within foods
- picky eating
- limited weight gain (Failure to Thrive)
- gastroesophageal reflux disorder
- cleft lip/palate
- anterior/posterior tongue tie
- vocal fold paralysis
- Gtube and NG tube