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Feeding Success

SOS (sequential oral sensory)
Feeding Approach


by Appointment Only

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SOS (sequential oral sensory) Feeding Approach​

Let us celebrate successes when your child has a healthier food repertoire, has a happier relationship with food and is gaining sufficient weight. The Feeding Success approach aims to do just that with you as family in the center of it. Feeding is not an easy task for some of our babies or children because it requires integration of many areas such as the physiological system (gut, reflux, constipation, heart rate, lung function etc), oral motor skills (tongue movement, chewing, gums, and swallow reflex), sensory integration skills, cognitive development, postural stability, and emotional milestones. Furthermore, it is estimated that children eat 4-11 times per day, and if you have a fussy baby, a picky eater, or a problem feeder, life may become extremely tough. It is said in the study by Levine et. al. (2011). JPGN, 52, 563-568, that the mean onset of feeding difficulties started at 8 months of age and the mean age of intervention was only at 24 months. You don’t have to wait and suffer alone.
Martelize Gropp
Speech Therapist
071 641 6364
Cecile van Niekerk
082 549 8274
Elriza Janse van Vuuren
Occupational Therapist
083 292 5544

Treatments and Diagnosis

Feeding assessment

  • Identifying all areas influencing feeding, including physical, behavioural, oral motor, motor development, sensory factors, cognitive development, emotional development, postural stability and learning styles and personality of the child.
  • Looking at the caregivers in terms of parenting style, struggles you have, adaptive techniques for feeding.
  • The environment: Identifying contributing environmental factors.

Feeding intervention

  • Feeding therapy is based on the sequential oral sensory (SOS) approach which means that feeding therapy treats all influencing factors, including the oral motor skills, sensory system, postural stability and the growth of a child in a systematic manner.
  • Feeding therapy consists of a transdisciplinary team, which consists of a Dietician, an Occupational therapist and a Speech Therapist.
  • It always includes the parents/caregivers and aims to equip parents and caregivers with the necessary insight in the feeding difficulty and steps to address it.
  • The aim is to have a child eat a greater variety, have a healthier relationship with food and grow sufficiently.
  • Feeding therapy also includes children with special health care needs such as preterm infants, children with developmental disabilities and children with feeding tubes such as PEG tubes or nasogastric tubes or gastrostomies.

Weaning from feeding tube to solid foods

Some children who grow poorly and develop too slowly, require being fed via a tube. At some stage, this feeding tube may be removed, and children need to learn how to eat proper amounts of food in the right quantities. Feeding success aims to assist the parents through this process with feeding education and psychological support. We attempt to increase the child’s appetite and modify the environment to ensure optimal intake for improved growth and development.

Gastric-intestinal problems

Feeding success aims to assist parents with children who struggle with gastric intestinal problems i.e. gastro-esophageal reflux disease which inhibit the child to eat well and thrive. We give nutritional advice aimed to increase food intake and decrease negative feeding behaviour.

Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)

A multidisciplinary team is used to assess and treat babies in the NICU with regards to neurodevelopment, understanding the baby's sensory system development, understanding your baby's state behaviour and communication skills through movements/cries, handling and bonding of the baby, best feeding options and sufficient nutrition to ensure optimal growth of your baby.

Trans-disciplinary Team Approach

Our team consist of an Occupational Therapist (arbeidsterapeut), Speech Therapist (spraakterapeut) and a Dietitian (dieetkundige). The occupational therapist focuses on the sensory aspects of feeding, for example children who don’t like smooth textures or mixed textures such as spaghetti bolognaise. The speech therapist focuses on the oral-motor skills necessary for feeding such as tongue movement, chewing and save swallowing. The dietitian helps to work out a diet, taking into account allergies and nutritional needs of the child.
Even though each profession has its focus area, the team is further strengthened by its overlapping integration of skills. The team members do continuous training to ensure they are upskilled, knowledgeable and on par with the latest research.

Sensory Integration focused on feeding

ALL the sensory systems are involved in eating. Vision: you need to be able to tolerate the “look” of the food e.g. red beetroot.
Smell: Our olfactory (smell) sense is very closely linked to our emotional center and memory. Good and bad memories are easily recalled or triggered by smelling something. You should also be able to tolerate the smell and to be able to discriminate between different smells; is it sweet, salty or maybe familiar.
Tactile: Some children prefer crunchy food and other children prefer soft food. Children who prefer soft food are irritated by the crumbling pieces of crunchy food in their mouths. Some children prefer all their food to be the same texture and not mixed such as pasta with a mushroom sauce or yoghurt with fruit pieces.
Proprioception: Proprioception provides feedback necessary for body awareness. Children need to know how wide to open their mouth to be able to put the food in their mouth. Children should also be aware where their fingers, tongue and cheeks are so they don’t bite them. It also gives them feedback on the consistency and position of the food in their mouth when chewing.
Auditory: Some children are very sensitive to the sound food makes in their mouth when they are eating as well as the sound of other people chewing.
Taste: Tastes that calm the sensory system is sweet tastes such as cinnamon and sugar. More alerting tastes are sour such as lemon and spices.


Mariette Eksteen
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Lienke Eksteen is gebore met 'n baie seldsame kondisie genaamd Hyperinsulisim, wat beteken haar pankreas skei te veel insullien af met die gevolg dat haar bloedsuiker heeltyd val. Sy moet dus elke 2 - 3ure iets eet of drink. Maar van geboorte was dit 'n stryd dat sy enige iets drink of eet, as gevolg van die kondisie, maar ook omdat sy elke 2ure gedwing was om te eet/drink.

Toe Lienke 2jaar en 6maande was het sy nog niks self geeeet nie, ons moes elke voeding kos in haar mond forseer, elke ete was 'n marteling vir ons en haar. Ons het 'n afspraak by die chirurg gemaak om vir Lienke 'n voedings buis in te sit. Daardie selfde week het Elriza ons genader en gese kom ons probeer eers voedings terapie met Lienke voor julle die buis insit. Ons het die operasie uitgestel, en gedink ons sal die voedings terapie probeer, maar as dit nie werk nie gaan ons die buis insit.

Lienke het toe begin met voedings terapie, Julie 2018. Van die begin af kon ons dadelik 'n verbetering sien, Elriza was ongelooflik geduldig en baie goed in wat sy gedoen het. En Lienke het haar sommer vining begin vertrou om vir haar kos te gee. Aan die eiende van Desember het Lienke self begin eet!!! Sy het nie meer 'n vrees vir kos nie, en sy verbeter nog elke dag.

Ek kan regtig die voedings terappie aanbeveel vir elke kind wat sukkel om te eet of soos Lienke glad nie wou eet nie.
Mamma van Garsfontein
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Beslis nie tradisioneel nie maar ongelooflik effektief!! Ek moes eers self gemaklik raak met die proses, maar ek kan elke week ‘n verbetering sien.
Nanki Robbertse
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I met Elriza and her colleagues in May this year. I was desperate to get both my 3-year old and 8-year old to eat better and a greater variety of food. Being an OT myself I have tried everything but their fussy eating was something I could not treat.

Both my children loved Elriza and trusted her very quickly, even though she challenged their sensory systems. She is such a playful and enthusiastic therapist and my children made a lot of progress. For the first time ever we are eating at a table and my children participate in preparing the food and eating the food.

I am much more patient now with them, because I understand it is a journey and not a quick fix. Elriza has taught me so much and has given me tools as a parent. I would highly recommend their feeding clinic to any family.
Mamma van Pretoria
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Daar was goeie interaksie met my kind en baie geduld. Hulle is passievol oor hulle werk en my kind eet ‘n groter verskeidenheid kos.

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390 Manitoba Drive, Faerie Glen

Telephone Number

082 549 8274 | 083 292 5544 |
071 6416 364


Mon-Fri by Appointment

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