Sensorimotor Approach to Feeding

Muscle based speech and feeding therapy that involves both sensory and motor components of the neurological system. Both the Feedback (motor processing) which is a reactive system is used for ongoing production of skilled movement (open-close in chew) and Feed-forward (anticipation) of sensory information which enables us to prepare, and initiate postural and movement requirements in anticipation of a movement are involved in the feeding process. For example, moving lips forward to accept yogurt off a spoon would be an anticipatory movement. A child may also lean forward toward the spoon. Conversely, he may move away from it due to fear and anxiety. Sensory input (awareness) impacts movement and Sensory discrimination (hot, cold, big, little, bland, spicy) impacts movement and motor control. Understanding what skills a child has to work with will determine where to begin and whether food would be appropriate as a starting point.


Lori L. Overland, M.S., CCC-SLP, C/NDT

She specializes in feeding and has been recognized for her work in the Down Syndrome Population.