Special Programs

SOS Approach to Feeding

The SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) approach integrates sensory, motor, oral, behavioral, medical, and nutritional factors in order to comprehensively manage children with feeding problems. SOS is based on “normal” developmental steps, stages and skills of feeding found in typically developing children. The program utilizes typical developmental steps towards feeding to desensitize children in order for them to eat various textures, tolerate various tastes, and  allow them to eat items from all food groups.

The SOS feeding program is an effective way to address problematic feeding behaviors in a variety of settings and populations. SOS focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food, such as texture, taste, smell, and consistency. The SOS approach allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way. Therapy may be provided in an individual or peer group setting.

If your child is demonstrating any of the following, please do not hesitate to contact us for a free screening or evaluation:

  •    Ongoing poor weight gain or weight loss
  •    Ongoing choking, gagging or coughing during meals or at the site of food
  •    Ongoing problems with vomiting or more than one incident of nasal reflux
  •    History of traumatic choking incident
  •    History of eating & breathing coordination problems, with ongoing respiratory issues
  •    Inability to transition to baby food purees by 10 months of age
  •    Inability to accept any table food solids by 12 months of age
  •    Inability to transition from breast/bottle to a cup or not weaned off baby foods by 16 months of age
  •    Aversion or avoidance of all foods in specific texture or food group
  •    Food range of less than 20 foods, especially if foods are being dropped over time with no new foods replacing those lost
  •    An infant who cries and/or arches at most meals
  •    Family mealtime is stressful, where you are having to prepare a separate meal for your child

*For additional information regarding picky eaters, problems feeders and common feeding myths, schedule a Free Screen with one of our SOS certified therapists.

Social Communication Therapy

Social communication is complex! It involves all of the components that go into a successful interaction, including starting and maintaining meaningful conversations, understanding body language and facial expressions, choosing a topic, and even appropriately ending a conversation. T his difficulty is often marked by varying levels of anxiety and can affect how kids socially interact with peers. Difficulties with social communication can exist on their own, or be part of more significant neurological differences such as autism, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, sensory processing disorders, cognitive impairments, etc. At Red Door, we use a variety of evidence­ based programs that address each child’s specific strengths and difficulties.N avigating this area of language can be difficult, and not being able to develop friendships and connections makes it all that much harder. The goal of Social Communication Therapy is to increase the overall success related to peer interaction and relationship building.

Tongue Thrust Therapy and Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy

A tongue thrust is a simplified term for an inverted or reverse swallow pattern. During an inverted swallow, the tongue pushes on the teeth causing both dental and orthodontic issues, as well as speech difficulties (particularly with the sounds /s/ and /z/). It is important for these issues to be addressed early so that structures of the mouth and teeth can develop correctly as children grow. At Red Door, we use what’s called an “orofacial myofunctional approach” to teach children how to use a correct swallow pattern, use an appropriate resting position of the tongue, and produce clear speech for communication. This approach has helped patients to avoid expensive orthodontics or oral surgery, improve overall oral health, and improve sound production.

Therapeutic Listening®

Therapeutic Listening is an evidence-based auditory intervention intended to support individuals who experience challenges with sensory processing dysfunction, listening, attention, and communication.

Since the auditory system has connections to many parts of the brain, sound is a powerful way to access the nervous system and affect changes at all levels.  The music in Therapeutic Listening albums gives the listener unique and precisely controlled sensory information.  The music is electronically modified to highlight the parts of the sound spectrum that naturally trigger attention and activate body movement.

The music each child listens to will be chosen by their occupational therapist, to ensure that it meets the child’s individual needs. Therapists continually monitor the program and make adjustments as the child progresses.

How can Therapeutic Listening® be beneficial for my child?

Therapeutic Listening® is to be utilized along with a sensory diet, both of which should be set up by the child’s occupational therapist. With these in place, goals will be developed to address such areas as:

  • Improved social interactions
  • Improved communication skills
  • Enhanced ability to focus
  • Ability to make transitions or changes in routine easier
  • Increased engagement in the world
  • Improvements in sleeping
  • Regulation of hunger and thirst cycle regularity
  • Toilet training/cessation of bed wetting
  • Regulation of mood and energy level (overall a happier child, less irritable, less hyperactivity  or low arousal)
  • Improved ability to respond to sounds and verbal directions
  • Increased participation in and exploration of playground equipment (swings, slides,  climbing structures)
NBCOT Registered Occupational Therapists

In Bismarck

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