Free Initial telephone enquiry/consultation
If you have concerns about your child’s feeding, eating, drinking and/or swallowing, please call or email me to discuss your worries and to see if further action is required.
An initial feeding assessment would usually take place in your home where your child is comfortable. It is important that parents are present, and/or the carer that is usually involved in feeding your child or supporting them at mealtimes. It may be useful to share any recent reports that you have about your child prior to this initial assessment (e.g. reports for the paediatrician, feeding clinic, occupational therapist, dietician).
Feeding assessments require a meal or snack time observation; or to observe your baby having a bottle. It is therefore important that the initial appointment is arranged at a time that your child is likely to cooperate with feeding or having something to eat/drink. The assessment will involve talking with you about your child’s early history (birth, medical interventions, health, development, early feeding experiences) as well as your current concerns. It will also involve observing your child in play and engaging in a meal/snack time or bottle feed. During this observation, I will be looking at how your child eats, drinks or feeds as well as their physical and sensory skills, position, the feeding routine, communication and interaction, the environment etc.
At the end of the session I will feedback and discuss ways you can help your child with their feeding difficulties. I will also suggest recommendations for any further support your child may require (e.g. ongoing monitoring, therapy sessions, referrals to other professionals etc).
Following your initial assessment, I will provide a brief report and written summary of the advice discussed. This may include basic resources and advice sheets. If you would like a more detailed report and/or advice, this can be provided for an additional fee.
Telephone appointment to review advice
Following an initial assessment, you will be given advice and strategies to try with your child. If it is felt that your child does not need to be seen again but would benefit from ongoing monitoring, you can pre-pay for 2-6 telephone appointments. You can then use these telephone appointments as and when you wish to seek further verbal advice or voice your queries/concerns. Parents are asked to contact me (via telephone/email) to agree a time for a telephone appointment. I will aim to book in a telephone appointment within 3 working days of your request.
Individual appointment – to review and update advice
Following an initial assessment, you may be given advice and strategies to try with your child over an agreed period of time. This may include “targets” for you to work towards with your child in supporting them with their feeding. It may be recommended that this advice is reviewed after an agreed timescale with another home visit.
During this home visit, we will discuss your child’s progress and how easy or hard you have found it to carry out the advice. I may also carry out further observations/assessment to determine your child’s level of progress and to update the previous advice/strategies/targets.
Your child may benefit from some intervention sessions to help them move forward with their feeding. These sessions will usually take place in the comfort of your own home, but may also be carried out in your child’s preschool. These sessions may involve fun sensory activities, messy/food play and the modelling of strategies/techniques. All toys, food and equipment will be provided (although please note you may be asked to prepare some food, or provide food items if you child is on a specialist diet). You will be encouraged to join in these sessions with your child and to continue carrying out some activities in between sessions.
If it is recommended that your child would benefit from a series of intervention sessions, dates and times can be pre-booked in advance. The timescale and frequency of sessions will be discussed with you to best meet the needs of you and your child.
It may be useful to see your child in their preschool. Children can present very differently at home to how they do in their preschool where they are presented with a different set of challenges. A preschool visit would only be carried out with the consent of parents/carers, but it may not need parents/carers to be present. A preschool visit may be useful to:
- carry out further observations/assessment of your child
- discuss your child’s progress with their teachers
- talk through advice with your child’s teachers; demonstrate strategies relevant to your child’s needs
- discuss ways that the preschool can support your child with their feeding difficulties within the preschool setting.
Written therapy programme and resources
Following an assessment, some children may benefit from a detailed therapy programme which can be carried out by parents and preschool practitioners. This would include written targets and detailed activities to work towards these targets with your child. Therapy programmes may be discussed and modelled with you (or your child’s preschool) to help you understand how to carry out the activities independently.
Detailed written report
A detailed written report may be written on request, following an initial assessment. The report may document your child’s strengths, difficulties and areas of need as well as recommendations and advice. A detailed report may be used to make further referrals if indicated (e.g. to paediatrician, educational psychologist, occupational therapist etc)
Please note that I do not write reports for tribunals or for medico-legal reasons.
I can attend professionals meetings for an agreed fee (e.g. IEP meetings at preschool, multi-disciplinary meetings). I am also happy to do joint appointments with other professionals (e.g. Dietician, Occupational therapist), however this would only take place with your consent and with the agreement of the other professionals involved