Feeding & Swallowing
Babble & Munch Speech Pathology has expertise in infant and toddler feeding problems (0-3 years), as well as eating and swallowing difficulties in preschool and school-age children (3-12 years).
Some of the feeding problems that we work with include:
- Difficulties with breastfeeding or bottle feeding
- Sucking, swallowing or breathing difficulties during feeding
- Coughing, choking or gagging on fluid or food
- Poor endurance & fatigue
- Difficulty transitioning to solids, lumps or finger foods
- Chewing or oral motor problems
- Fussy, picky, anxious or selective eating
- Feed refusal or distress with feeding
- Oral aversions or feeding aversions
- Tube feeding, tube dependency, tube weaning
- Stressful mealtimes & mealtime battles
Early Communication Skills
Babble & Munch Speech Pathology also provides speech pathology services for early social communication skills for babies and toddlers 0 – 2 years of age.
Early communication difficulties could include:
- Not smiling
- Difficulties with social interaction
- Lack of babble
- Not responding to your sounds or communication
- Delays in developing first words or putting words together
- Marked frustration with communication
Questions & Answers
What makes Babble & Munch Speech Pathology stand out?
- A team of highly trained, experienced speech pathologists in the ‘niche’ area of feeding
- All speech pathologists have both hospital and community feeding experience
- Speech pathologists attend multiple feeding trainings and workshops every year
- Resourced with specialised feeding equipment sourced from around the world for trial in your sessions
- Highly detailed assessment process to problem-solve your child’s feeding difficulties
- Thorough oral examinations conducted on every child
- Assessment forms and handouts developed in-house by our team
- Longer assessment and treatment sessions to give your child the time they need
- Availability of regular treatment sessions as required
- Detailed and informative reports written for each child and shared with their team
- Access to the whole team’s expertise – regular case discussions and supervision within the team
- Maintained networks with other medical specialists and health professionals who support children with feeding difficulties
- Active in teaching other speech pathologists and health professionals about feeding around the country
What is the process for seeing a Babble & Munch speech pathologist for feeding difficulties?
- Make contact. Look at our website, give us a call and our friendly reception team can answer your questions.
- Book into an initial assessment. Our reception team can discuss our speech pathology prices, give you an estimate of the initial assessment cost, and let you know what to bring along. We will send you out some paperwork to complete and send back to us before your assessment.
- Attend for an initial assessment. Assessments are completed over 1-2 sessions. The initial appointment will take 1.5 hours and our speech pathologists are careful to run to time as much as possible. You will need to bring in your copies of completed paperwork and your child’s usual feeding supplies and food. Before youra appointment, your speech pathologist will review the written information you provided about your child, and then ask you more questions about your child’s feeding and medical history in the appointment. The speech pathologist will check in your child’s mouth (called an ‘oral examination’), then watch how they eat to assess their feeding skills, along with trialling some feeding therapy strategies using any of our specialised feeding equipment or additional food supplies. An initial treatment plan will be discussed with you and written down to take home, including whether we recommend feeding therapy and how often. Children 0-6 months without NDIS funding/diagnosed disabilities/tube feeding will only require 1 assessment session. All other children will have their assessment completed over two sessions, which allows our clinician more time to get to know your child and provides opportunity for assessment feedback and further parent training in the second session.
- Attend treatment sessions (as required). Feeding therapy sessions will be booked with your speech pathologist at the end of the assessment session. Feeding therapy sessions are important for making new gains in feeding and supporting progress at home. At each session, your speech pathologist will talk with you about how feeding has been going at home, participate in a ‘mealtime’ with your child using the recommended therapy strategies, and provide you with new recommendations for home (written down).
- Communication between your speech pathologist and your child’s health care and therapy team. This may include written reports, letters, emails, phone calls and face-to-face conversations. These are very important to ensure that any issues contributing to the feeding difficulties are being well managed and any further referrals or recommendations can be carried out to support your child’s development.
What is included in an initial assessment service?
An initial assessment service is the most important part of your child’s treatment. Without spending the time getting to know your child’s history, their feeding skills and overall development, it is difficult to plan exactly what treatments, therapy and support at home that your child will need. At Babble & Munch, we include much more in our assessment service than the time you spend with the speech pathologist. Here are the things we include:
- 1.5-2.5 hours (over 1-2 sessions) with an experienced, highly trained feeding speech pathologist, trained in the latest evidence-based practice and feeding therapy models.
- Our unique initial questionnaire developed ‘in house’ to collect the relevant information about your child to assist in problem solving and developing a treatment plan. This is reviewed before your child walks in our door so the speech pathologist knows what further questions to ask.
- Direct attention of the speech pathologist to spend time listening to your child’s history and asking further questions to gain the information needed and understand your experiences.
- A thorough oral examination, including tongue tie assessment if required.
- An observation of your child feeding, including trialling initial treatment strategies to use at home.
- In-clinic use of specialised feeding equipment and examples of feeding products that may assist your child, collected from around the world.
- Use of clinic food supplies and examples of helpful food products in addition to your child’s usual foods brought from home.
- An initial treatment plan discussed with you and written out to take home.
- Assessment feedback and parent training completed in a second assessment session where required (see Tier 2 assessments).
- A written assessment report that many of our clients and referrers have found helpful in summarising the child’s medical and feeding history, the findings of our assessment, and initial recommendations. This report can be helpful for other members of your multidisciplinary team, for NDIS funding applications, and as a focus point to discuss your child’s feeding difficulties and therapy plan with your family.
- Expertise from the whole team of speech pathologists from Babble & Munch as we have regular in-house case discussions, in-team consulting, and supervision and mentoring.
- Referrals and recommendations for other health services, tests or medical professionals that may be useful. We maintain our networks with a number of medical and health professionals who support children with feeding difficulties.
- Communication with your child’s multidisciplinary team (e.g. doctor, medical specialists, maternal child health nurse, allied health professionals) when required to assist the team to be on the same page and support best therapy outcomes for feeding improvement.
- Follow-up therapy sessions to implement the treatment plan with the same speech pathologist who completed your assessment.
Why are written reports necessary and valuable?
Many families and referrers have told us that the assessment report we write has been helpful in summarising the child’s feeding, medical and developmental ‘journey’ as well as sharing our findings and our recommendations. This report can be helpful for other members of your child’s treating ‘team’ or for assisting with NDIS funding applications for feeding therapy and speech pathology.
Families also find it can be a useful focus point for discussions about their child’s feeding difficulties and therapy plan with other members of the family, particularly if they weren’t able to attend the initial assessment or there are conflicting views about the child’s feeding at home. In addition, Speech Pathology Australia recommends that all children assessed by a speech pathologist have a written report provided as part of best-practice. All children attending Babble & Munch therefore have an assessment report written by their speech pathologist.
There is the option of a shorter summary report or a more comprehensive report depending on your child’s needs and your speech pathologist can discuss which report they would recommend as best for your child at the time of the assessment. Note, all children with NDIS funding are recommended to have comprehensive reports written to provide a detailed ‘baseline assessment’ for future comparisons, to assist with the carrying out their treatment plan, and to provide evidence of the need for feeding therapy for future NDIS funding reviews.
Why are phone calls, emails and referrals to other health professionals important?
Feeding difficulties can be very complex and are less likely to happen on their own in isolation from any other medical or developmental issues. In order for your child to make progress with their eating and drinking it is very important that any issues contributing to their feeding problem are being well managed. Sometimes a child with feeding difficulties might need to see a paediatrician or other medical specialist to have some further tests or treatments to check for any other issues that may be related to the feeding difficulty. There may also be other therapies that we can recommend that may help your child improve their feeding and development. These conversations where we advocate for your child’s needs with other health professionals are given additional time in our day and diaries, which is why we need to bill for this time as well as the time we spend with your child.
Fees & Rebates
Please contact the clinic for the Schedule of Fees. Fees are payable on the day of service by EFTPOS or credit-card. We do accept cash (exact amount only) but do not carry change or cash on premises. HICAPS payment and Medicare processing facilities are available (HICAPS available in Eltham and Heidelberg rooms only). Cancellation fees may apply if less than 48 hours’ notice is provided for a cancelled appointment.
Private Health Fund Rebates: Babble & Munch Speech Pathology is registered with private health insurance providers. Please speak to your private health insurer to determine whether you are eligible for speech pathology rebates.
Medicare Rebates: Babble & Munch Speech Pathology is a registered provider with Medicare. Medicare rebates may be available for some children under the Chronic Disease Management Program (formally the Enhanced Primary Care plan). Medicare rebates can be processed at time of payment. Please speak to your GP for more information.
NDIS funding: Babble & Munch Speech Pathology can only accept NDIS self-managed funding, as we are not registered as an NDIS provider. Payment from the family is required on the day of service and families will be responsible for claiming back funds from NDIS using the NDIS processes for self-managed participants.
Better Start funding: Babble & Munch Speech Pathology is registered as a service provider with Better Start for Children with Disability at our Eltham clinic only.