Thanks to funding from Charles Sturt University CUP (Community University Partnerships) Early Connections was awarded the Wellbeing Grant.

“These funds were greatly received and have enabled us to purchase new equipment to support our new specialist feeding clinic and meet the needs of the community,” said Beth Todd Early Connections Manager.

The new service supports children aged 0-10. Early Connections is offering a new feeding clinic for parents of children with feeding difficulties. 

The program teaches effective ways to address problematic feeding behaviors in a variety of settings. The approach used by our therapists uses a transdisciplinary team (Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists) to assess the “whole child” including:

  • Organ systems
  • Muscles
  • Development
  • Sensory processing
  • Oral-motor skills
  • Learning, behaviour and cognition
  • Nutrition
  • Environment

Early Connections purchased resources including sensory equipment, feeding chairs and eating equipment to support children with disabilities. 

The feeding program is highly recommended for individuals with oral motor difficulties, a weak suck, or problems generating and maintaining suction. The outcomes of the Feeding Clinic are:

  • Give parents and families access to evidence based guidance on feeding children with disabilities
  • Reduce the incidence of medical complications 
  • Create a hub for ongoing support for families to help them enjoy mealtimes together
  • Support individual children in their development, health and wellbeing

Early Connections has an established team of highly experienced speech pathologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists who are qualified to provide therapy and paediatric feeding support.

Our team identified a need to provide additional feeding intervention support to families and children. This need is based on the current intake of NDIS participants and the goals identified in their plans. Feeding problems are particularly common in children with disabilities. 

Children with autism spectrum disorder have a higher incidence of feeding problems compared with typical children.

Early Intervention and therapy can support families at key developmental milestones to support their child’s development. 

Thanks to Charles Sturt University for supporting this important program.

Pictured: Tiare Lanser, Speech Pathologist.