The oral-motor aspect of eating involves how the mouth muscles function: how strong the muscles are, how well they coordinate
the range of motion and how far they can move as they manipulate food in the mouth.
The oral-sensory aspect of eating involves how the mouth tissues perceive sensory information such as the taste, temperature and texture of food.
Children can have problems with either part of the eating process or both; there is often overlap with feeding disorders.
Some children may be hypersensitive to oral stimuli, causing them to gag, grimace or have other strong reactions to
certain types of food. Others may be hypo sensitive (in other words, under-responsive):
They may not feel food in their mouths or may let it drop out of their mouths without realising it.
Some children with oral-sensory problems can have a feeding aversion to how foods feel or taste
but will have no problem putting other things in their mouths.
Children with general oral aversions will gag or vomit in response to anything in their mouths.
Feeding disorders are often multifaceted and thus require an interdisciplinary approach from paediatric feeding
specialists who can treat the physical and behavioural aspects of the problem
A child with an oral-motor disorder has trouble controlling her lips, tongue, and jaw muscles,
which makes mouth skills — from talking to eating to sipping from a straw — tough to master.
While these are physical issues, there are also speech-motor disorders.
Oral motor therapy works on the oral skills necessary for proper speech and feeding development.
Our skilled team of Speech and Occupational Therapists integrate the Principles of NDT, SI and OPT
to establish normal feeding Patterns, Speech and Articulation.
These skills include: awareness, strength, coordination, movement, and endurance of the lips, cheeks, tongue, and jaw.