ALPHABET SOUP MISSION STATEMENT
When a child has a feeding or communication disorder it impacts every member of the family and all aspects of life.
Most of us live to eat! Food is life! Our daily meals provide enjoyment beyond the physical experience. They are opportunities to interact and share with members of our families. Social outings with friends frequently involve food. Holidays and life cycle events are planned around meals.
Many of the children we work with eat just enough to stay alive. They do not have the underlying sensory motor skills to handle food. They may compromise their respiratory systems and safety when they eat. They often self-limit their diets based upon their sensory and motor systems. Food is not innately reinforcing. Parents struggle to get through the day as they attempt to insure their child gets adequate nutrition.
There are many feeding clinics in Connecticut and around the country that address medical and behavioral issues related to feeding disorders. Few programs also address the underlying sensory motor skill (Overland, L. & Merkel-Walsh, R. 2013. A Sensory Motor Approach to Feeding. Charleston, SC:Talk Tools) as a primary concern in the feeding paradigm.
The therapists in this practice are trained to task analyze the underlying sensory motor skills necessary for safe nutritive feeding. In addition, our evaluations and therapy consider medical issues, nutrition, posture and alignment, sensory issues, oral structures and behavioral issues which have developed secondary to any of these concerns (Overland, L. Feeding Therapy: A Sensory Motor Approach. Talk Tools – www.talktools.com). We work closely with family members, physicians and other therapists as we do evaluations, develop program plans and implement treatment. Our therapists use an eclectic approach which, in addition to an oral sensory motor approach, may include neurodevelopmental, sensory and behavioral programs. The goal of feeding therapy is safe, effective and enjoyable nutritive feeding.
Speech and language issues are addressed in B-3 organizations, private practices and school districts. Few practices specialize in task analysis and treatment of muscle based speech issues and motor planning issues using an Oral Placement Therapy (OPT) approach (Bahr, D. & Johnson, S. 2010. Treatment of children with speech oral placement disorders (OPDs): A paradigm emerges. Communication Disorders Quarterly, 31, 131-138). Our therapists use an eclectic approach which often incorporates OPT, traditional articulation therapy, phonological approaches, PROMPT, and Kaufman protocols.
Over the past 35 years I have been privileged to work with infants, toddlers and school age children with a wide variety of challenges. I am grateful to the families who have trusted me to share their journey. With that in mind…. when I opened this practice I invited therapists to join me that I knew shared my vision. They are committed to the families and children we serve, and they are always seeking to expand their knowledge base. Each therapist in this office maintains an independent practice. We share space, equipment and most importantly professional knowledge! Thank you for sharing your precious children and allowing us to work with your family.
Lori Overland M.S., CCC-SLP, C/NDT
-Founder of Alphabet Soup