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Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn LettersBrooklyn Letters

1139 Prospect Avenue, Brooklyn

4.9 47 reviews

  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Heather Liljengren ★★★★★ 2 months ago
    We cannot say enough good things about Effie, the ASL teacher, who was so engaged and effective with our 2 year old daughter from the very first session! Effie gladly included our whole family in the sessions! Her expertise and fantastic … More personality gave our daughter a way to communicate that she was so desperately seeking. The coordinators at Brooklyn Letters were so helpful and communicative…I would highly recommend their services!
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Christine Weiher ★★★★★ 10 months ago
    We were amazed with Allison! She met my son at 2 1/2 years old, not speaking much at all, and over a computer, and she was able to develop a bond and friendship, so much so that he would look forward to his weekly computer time with Allison. … More I was not sure how the speech therapy would go- but we are so happy that we tried it out and continued. It allowed my son to gain confidence in his speech, make a new friend :), and also give him the skills and a bit of understanding of how to shape his mouth or where to place his tongue to make the proper sounds. We were extremely happy with Allison- she was fantastic to work with.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Andrea Saffady ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    My sessions with Karen have been extremely helpful. My speech has improved tremendously. In fact, I just finished 2 hours of conducting interviews with a consulting client via MS Teams and I have an upcoming conference call. Both my … More neurologist and neurosurgeon remarked about how good my speech is. Much of the day it is perfect, although I still have some rough spots when I get tired or speak too quickly. One of my granddaughters is a speech pathology student at Ithaca College. She sat in on 2 sessions while she was home for winter break, and she was very impressed with Karen.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Melissa Stevens ★★★★★ 8 months ago
    Highly recommend Jill. She is a total pleasure to work with. After a few months working with Jill, my son is reading above grade level and LOVES to read. Mission accomplished!
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Jacob B ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We were delighted with Christie. First, and most importantly, our son made great strides under her guidance. So great, that we felt he no longer needed help! She was incredibly patient and kind with him and our son really responded to … More her. Christie was also great with me and my wife. She provided thorough and informative updates on our son's progress and which exercises she was using with him, so we could reinforce what she was teaching him. All in all, we had a fabulous experience with Christie and would highly recommend her.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Demet Evren ★★★★★ 11 months ago
    Paige was great and we had been really happy with her. I would highly recommend her! I recommend Brooklyn Letters to whomever asks for a speech therapist.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Jeizel Rosenthal ★★★★★ 7 months ago
    Isabel was WONDERFUL and our son absolutely adored her, and he is making great progress with his reading and writing.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Lesley Duval ★★★★★ a year ago
    Theo was fantastic with our 4yo son. We were very worried that his progress would fall off when we had to switch to remote sessions, but Theo kept our son happy and engaged through the screen. Highly highly recommend!
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Samantha Packard ★★★★★ a year ago
    We've been working with Theo from Brooklyn Letters for close to 4 months now and the results are apparent; our daughter has vastly improved her speech in a relatively short amount of time. We make "Theo Day" a celebration … More in our house with pancakes for breakfast, and the enthusiasm is matched in the sessions. Theo is fun, patient, professional, and caring, and he gives us the tools to take the lessons beyond the session. Thank you Theo, and Brooklyn Letters, for helping our daughter express herself.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Travis Ricca ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    I worked with Alina to enhance my pronunciation, tone, and pacing while communicating socially and in a work environment. She was great to work with and clear about goals and learning objectives. The improvement from day 1 has been tremendous! … More
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Enrico Bermudez ★★★★★ a year ago
    Cathy has been excellent with us and our son. We will sorely miss her. He has improved significantly with Cathy’s help. Cathy was a true partner with us, especially as we pursued additional help through our son’s school system.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Kayne Elisabeth Wilk ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    We really loved working with Alina, she is so fantastic. Patient yet firm, and determined the best course of action very clearly and succintly for us. And it all transitioned so well to Zoom as well. I will definitely be back in touch for … More services for our other child after summer break!
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Jen S ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    Vera was amazing! My 11 yo daughter made progress so quickly and really looked forward to her sessions. She was kept motivated and engaged.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters susie tofte ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    The work that Allison P. did with our daughter over the years has been invaluable to us. Our daughter had such a good relationship with Allison, and it allowed them to work really well together - even remotely these past 6 months. This … More year, Allison went above and beyond by helping us throughout the neuropsych eval we did, trying to re-open our daughter's IEP at her school, and eventually landing her at our chosen school. She was in contact with our daughter's teachers, with the neuropsychologist, and made herself available as a reference to speak on behalf of our daughter's learning differences.
    Allison stopped by our house last week to give our daughter cupcakes and say goodbye, and I literally cried with appreciation for what an amazing speech therapist she has been. She has been our daughter's biggest champion. The new families that she will work with this year are lucky to have her.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Alicia Perez-Katz ★★★★★ 2 years ago
    Sydney was great! Our son was sad to end his sessions with her, which says a lot. We appreciated her honest assessment of his skill level, and he now has materials to self monitor and practice. Thank you!
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Kristin Ames ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Our experience with Theo was terrific. Theo was great with my son. He developed a positive relationship with him based on sincerity, respect, trust and a deep personal connection. In their lessons, Theo was encouraging, creative and kind. … More He helped our son understand how to differentiate the sounds he made when he spoke, and gave him great exercises to practice every week between lessons. Our son was sorry to have the lessons come to an end, but recognized that Theo had helped him as much as possible and it was time for him to stop. Theo explained to him (and us) how to keep working to get the last 5%, and encouraged him to keep working on the exercises on his own. I have recommended Theo to another parent who noticed my son's improvement and inquired for her own son.
    We are all grateful to have gotten to know Theo, and we greatly appreciate all the work he did to help our son.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Aisha Holder ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    "I have nothing but wonderful things to say about Michelle Macroy-Higgins. We are extremely pleased with her work with our daughter. I was so grateful for my daughter to have a speech therapist who is a researcher (specialty in late … More talkers), graduate professor and practitioner. Her expertise was clearly evident in our conversations and work with our daughter. She was very responsive to my questions and often sent articles and other materials about language development that I found helpful. Thankfully, my daughter's speech improved tremendously. Michelle developed such a warm relationship with my daughter. My daughter was always excited to see Michelle and would greet her at the door with a big hug. Lastly, I would add that Michelle always demonstrated empathy with me as a mother who was initially worried about her daughter's language development. I could go on and on about how pleased we were with Michelle's work."
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Andrea Peartree ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Theo is a wonderful Clinton Hill speech therapist. We were really pleased with him. Our son showed drastic improvement, not only in his speech but in his confidence.
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters mario costa ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    Alexa has been an enthusiastic, reliable, well prepared and caring teacher for our 6 year old daughter. She has been able to improve and increase our daughter's confidence lesson by lesson with patience and competence; through varied … More and productive didactic practice. Alexa has engaged our daughter in several activities that always kept her motivated and eager to learn literacy. My wife and I, both of us are educators, feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to observe Alexa's pedagogical skills. Alexa has had a big impact on our daughter literacy growth. Thank you Brooklyn Letters!
  • Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters Lily Alt ★★★★★ 3 years ago
    We were absolutely DELIGHTED with Marsha's services. She was wonderful. We found her to be kind, fun, engaging, very knowledgeable. She provided us with clear instructions and additional written handouts each week. She engaged our … More son with different techniques and toys, and showed us how to use her techniques when we were interacting with him. I actually just texted her on Saturday - Our son finally said "more" - one of the target words we had been working on with her. It was a total joy to hear, and I had to share it with her - she wrote back immediately to congratulate us. I am so appreciative of her expertise, and wish we could have seen her for longer. I recommended her to another family in our neighborhood who is looking for a speech therapist.

FEEDING EVALUATION THERAPY WESTCHESTER COUNTY FOR BABIES, TODDLERS, AND CHILDREN

As Featured In:

WE TRAVEL THROUGHOUT WESTCHESTER COUNTY:

Ardsley Armonk Bedford/Bedford Hills Briarcliff Manor Bronxville Chappaqua City of Yonkers Dobbs Ferry Eastchester Elmsford Greenburgh Harrison Hastings on Hudson Hudson Irvington Larchmont Mamaroneck Mount Pleasant Mount Vernon Mt. Kisco New Rochelle North Castle Ossining Pelham Pleasantville Port Chester Rye Rye Brook Scarsdale Sleepy Hollow Tarrytown Tuckahoe White Plains

Our Westchester Staff Offer:

Eating is a primary human activity needed for survival. But for very young children, feeding can be a complicated task that needs complex coordination of different skills—biting, chewing, and finally, swallowing. Most babies and toddlers learn instinctively over time how to suck, bite, chew, and swallow food, and how to drink from a nipple, straw, and cup. But there are some who demonstrate difficulty learning these skills, interfering with their feeding development

Young children begin their feeding journey by first learning how to suck liquids and then chew single grain cereals or pureed food. When introducing solids, it is a messy process that needs plenty of practice and monitoring from parents. Certain difficulties like gagging, pushing food back, spills, and trouble with swallowing are normal and correct themselves over time. But for children with a feeding delay or disorder, these challenges will persist even as they get older. 

Pediatric feeding disorders are characterized by challenges in oral intake that are not typical for a child’s age. It often involves delays and difficulties in eating, drinking, chewing, sucking, and swallowing as well as food aversions, food refusal, and food and texture selectivity. Swallowing problems or dysphagia refers to problems in one or more areas of the three phases of swallowing. These phases or stages are:

  • Oral phase – The sucking, chewing and moving of food or liquid into the throat. Feeding is part of the oral phase.
  • Pharyngeal phase – The squeezing of food down the throat, which begins the swallowing action.
  • Esophageal phase – The opening and closing of the esophagus as it squeezes food down to the stomach. 

Feeding disorders can occur alongside developmental delays or medical conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or respiratory disorders. 

Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters

Causes of Feeding Disorders

Several factors can cause feeding and swallowing disorders. Infants who were hospitalized at birth and received tracheotomy for an extended time will often have difficulties adopting proper feeding patterns. In some cases, even children with no known conditions or relevant medical histories can develop a fear of food.

Other possible factors that could lead to feeding and swallowing disorders include:

  • cerebral palsy, meningitis, and other nervous system disorders
  • autism
  • stomach problems, such as reflux
  • premature or low birth weight
  • heart disease
  • cleft lip or palate
  • asthma or other respiratory problems
  • muscle weakness in the face and neck and other head or neck problems
  • medication that causes sleepiness or loss of appetite
  • sensory issues
  • behavioral problems

Signs and Symptoms of Feeding and Swallowing Disorders

Feeding and swallowing disorders in children are often difficult to spot at first. Most of the time, children who struggle during mealtimes are simply assumed to be picky eaters. And while this is true for many, there are other signs and symptoms that family members can consider to distinguish between a child who is a picky eater or one with a feeding problem. These include:

  • back arching and stiffening during meal times
  • crying, fussing, or falling asleep when feeding
  • throwing tantrums when presented with new or unfamiliar foods
  • trouble breathing while eating or drinking
  • coughing, choking, or gagging during meals
  • preference for specific textures of food (crunch or soft food) or aversion to a particular food group
  • taking a long time to eat or simply refusing
  • struggling to chew or swallow
  • excessive drooling during meals, has liquid come out of mouth or nose, or gets stuffy
  • frequently spitting or throwing up
  • not gaining weight or growing
  • eating less than 20 types of foods
  • refusing to eat meals with the family or a group

Meanwhile, a child who is a picky eater may sometimes exhibit similar behaviors as someone with a feeding disorder. However, there are key differences to monitor. Typical signs of a picky eater are:

  • eats a limited variety of foods (around 30 types)
  • consumes enough calories daily for growth and nutrition
  • often loses interest in a particular food but will accept it again after a certain period
  • accepts and eats at least one food from all food groups
  • allows new or unfamiliar food on the plate even if they do not touch or eat it

Training/Certifications

How to Treat Feeding Disorders

Treatment for feeding or swallowing disorders starts with getting a comprehensive check on the child’s general health. A pediatrician can assess the child’s growth and weight based on what is appropriate for his or her age. Children must also be checked for any condition that interferes with feeding skills. If your child’s doctor determines that there is cause for concern, a speech-language pathologist (SLP) may be consulted to conduct an assessment and provide a diagnosis.

During the evaluation, the SLP will:

  • ask questions about the child’s medical history and overall development
  • observe how the child moves his or her mouth, tongue, and jaw when eating and drinking various foods and liquids. 
  • watch how the child eats and take note of the way he or she picks up food, chews, swallows, and drinks
  • observe the child’s behavior during meals
  • consider the parent child interactions
  • assess mealtime routines 
  • conduct additional special tests, if necessary

Once a diagnosis is made, the SLP may work as part of a team to design a feeding therapy plan for the child. This team may include an occupational or physical therapist, a dietitian or nutritionist, a physician or nurse, or a developmental specialist.

As part of the multidisciplinary team, the SLP can help your child address the following issues:

  • improving the child’s tongue and jaw movement
  • Improving lateral chewing
  • introducing new foods and drinks
  • improving the way the child sucks from a bottle or drinks from a cup
  • adjusting textures of food and thickness of liquids to make swallowing easier
  • encouraging good behavior during meals, such as increased focus at meal times, not refusing food, and not fussing
  • addressing the child’s sensory issues (how the food feels in his or her mouth or hands)
Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters
The SOS Approach to Feeding
The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding therapy addresses not only the child’s eating difficulties but also its underlying causes. It is based on the feeding steps, stages, and skills found in typically developing children. The SOS approach relies on several factors, including motor, oral, behavioral/learning, medical, sensory, and nutrition, in determining the root cause of a child’s feeding problems and managing it successfully.
 In conducting SOS feeding therapy, it is important to create an environment wherein a child can interact and get familiarized with food in a non-stressful way. Therapy may be done individually, as a group, or at home, with the primary goal of helping the child develop and master the necessary skills to become a healthy and safe eater.
 Therapy meals are done to help children work on feeding skills and expose them to new foods. It typically starts with foods the child is already familiar with and able to tolerate before moving on to new ones. The therapist encourages the child to smell the food, learn about its texture, and explore its taste. Modeling and reinforcement are crucial during therapy in order to help the child develop a positive relationship with food.
 The SOS approach can also be applied during family meals, wherein the goal is to improve the volume or amount of the child’s food intake. Feeding strategies may include:
  • Serving a piece or spoonful of every food offered on the child’s plate. Whether the child eats it or not, the goal is to familiarize them with the food’s texture, smell, color, and where it comes from.
  • Including at least one food that the child is guaranteed to eat in order to expose the child to new foods while still ensuring they are eating the right amount of food.
  • Parents modeling good eating habits and describing the food and its taste.
  • Praising the child’s attempt to eat or explore new foods but taking care to not let the child be the sole focus of the meal.

At Brooklyn Letters, our feeding therapy involves improving the underlying feeding skills and eating habits of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. We assess the child’s sucking, swallowing, chewing patterns, diet, behavior, and the home environment during meal time time. Once we pinpoint the underlying problem(s), we create a family treatment plan. Some children require additional one-on-one feeding therapy. We demonstrate to the parent how to tackle their child's feeding and/or eating delay.

Craig Selinger, Owner
Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters

Presented at:

Hannah

Feeding Evaluation Therapy Westchester, Brooklyn Letters

Hannah is a New York State and Connecticut State licensed Speech-Language Pathologist who received her undergraduate degree from Manhattanville College and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from New York Medical College (a medically oriented master’s program). She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech-Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S), an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and a Certified Neonatal Therapist (CNT).  For nearly the last decade, Hannah has worked in a variety of acute care settings including the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and various multidisciplinary clinics working with children with aerodigestive anomalies/difficulties, velopharyngeal port dysfunction, muscular dystrophy, and craniofacial anomalies.  She also serves as an Adjunct Professor at New York Medical College, training post-graduate licensed clinicians in pediatric feeding and swallowing. She specializes in complex, medically-based feeding/swallowing disorders, as well as sensory and behaviorally based feeding difficulties, as well as picky eaters. Her area of passion is working with infants with feeding and swallowing difficulties and providing education to caregivers/families.

Hannah believes in child/family-centered care and providing empowerment to families.  Empathy is at the center of her practice and she feels strongly about developing a strong connection with the patients and families she services.  Hannah believes in functional outcomes and will work closely with you to align her clinical goals with your family goals which are equally as important.

LOCATION: Somers, Yorktown, Bedford, Mt. Kisco, Chappaqua, Mahopac

TYPE OF SERVICES: Individual therapy, feeding/swallowing evaluation, treatment, parent consultations.
EXPERTISE: Feeding and Swallowing Disorders, Oral Motor and Feeding Skill delays, oropharyngeal dysphagia, infant feeding and swallowing, breastfeeding difficulties
AGES: birth through 21

Our speech-language pathologists are ready to help you!

Schedule a free consultation today!

Phone: (347) -394-3485

Text: (917) 426-8880

Email: info@brooklynletters.com

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