Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Outpatient Eating Disorders Program: Division of Adolescent Medicine

July 27, 2011

On behalf of The Feeding Group at Chatterboxes, Megan Rozantes, M.S., CCC-SLP was recently invited to present to the team members of the Outpatient Eating Disorders Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. Team members in attendance included physicians, psychiatrists, nutritionists, and social workers from the division of Adolescent Medicine.

An overview of Chatterboxes approach to Feeding Evaluations and Feeding Therapy was provided, along with discussions about Common Referral Criterion, Red Flags indicative of a Feeding Disorder and specific treatment approaches, including the AEIOU approach.

Children’s Hospital Team members were provided with extensive collateral materials for reference purposes. Such materials included example Evaluation Reports, detailed strategies and recommendations for parents of children struggling with feeding issues, common referral criterion, and feeding developmental milestones.

Many times parents of young children struggling with a range of feeding concerns, (varying from ‘picky eaters’ to children with severe sensory, behavioral and/or motor based issues) do not know where to turn for help. Many parents are not aware that Speech-Language Pathologists can provide assistance and treatment for a Feeding Disorder. The Feeding Group’s presentation was a positive measure to help such parents uncover the correct professionals for help

Modify the Mealtime Environment: Feeding Strategies

Modify the Mealtime Environment

The structure of the mealtime environment can have a major impact on a child's eating behavior. Overall, strive for a positive environment that is predictable and supportive. To optimize the environment, consider implementing the following:

• Schedule regular meals for the family. Have everyone remain seated at the table for the duration of the meal.

• Avoid grazing. Offer only water between meals and snacks. This will support a regular hunger-satiation pattern and may help lead to increased daily food consumption.

• Minimize auditory and visual distractions at mealtime by turning the television off and keeping toys away from the table.

• Try limiting meals to 30 minutes and snacks to 10-15 minutes.

• Do not rush through meals. Your child may need extra time given their developing self-feeding skills.

• Mealtime is meant to be a social experience. Talk with your child about the food you are eating, ask him questions about his day, or discuss his favorite things.

• Be sure that your child's seating allows free use of hands to encourage self-feeding.

• Model positive feeding behaviors for your child throughout the meal.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chatterboxes Welcomes Dana Gudell, M.S., CCC-SLP

April 1, 2011

Dana’s gentle confidence, strong pediatric clinical knowledge base via her pediatric specific experience and inherent ability to bond with children is apparent in all interactions with her patients and their families.

Through her position at Clinical Associates of the Finger Lakes, in New York, Dana provided early intervention and preschool speech and language services to children in their homes, schools and daycares. By providing home-based services, Dana worked directly with parents and caregivers to increase the success and carryover of her patient’s goals. Dana endorses consistent collaboration with other professionals, including occupational therapists, physical therapists and psychologists as being paramount toward achieving the best possible outcome for her patients and families.

In addition to her birth-five clinical experience, Dana has also provided therapy to the school-age population in a suburban school district in New York. Her school-based efforts centered on children from kindergarten through eighth grade with a focus on articulation, expressive & receptive language and phonemic awareness skills, as well as children with auditory processing concerns and Autism spectrum disorders.

Dana graduated with honors from Nazareth College in Rochester, New York with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She went on to earn her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nazareth College. Dana’s academic accolades include entry to the Phi Eta Sigma Freshman Honor Society, awarding of the Florence Sweeney Scholarship, receipt of the Trustee Scholarship, as well as consistent Dean’s List distinction.

Dana resides in Natick, MA with her husband, Marc. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and cooking.

Chatterboxes is honored to have Dana on our clinical team. Her admirable personal and therapeutic qualities as well as her professionalism serve as a direct extension of Chatterboxes’ core values.

Dana can be reached via our main phone at 617-969-TALK (8255) or via email at dana@teamchatterboxes.com.

Tips for Managing Picky Eaters!

Mealtime Struggles

Many parents experience the woes of picky eating at some point in their child's development. A child's negative eating behavior can adversely affect the mealtime experience and have a detrimental effect on the child's health and development.
Try these tips:

•When introducing a new food, encourage interaction with the food in a less invasive way by gradually progressing through the following levels: tolerating on the table/plate, touching, smelling, kissing, licking, biting, chewing, and swallowing.

•Introduce an "all done" bowl. Don’t allow your child to leave the table until all of the food on his plate is either ingested or interacted with (pick up, kiss, lick, etc.) and placed into the all done bowl.

•Use a timer or visual schedule to encourage your child to stay at the table for the duration of the meal.

•Ignore any negative mealtime behaviors. This includes verbal protesting, pushing foods away, letting food fall to the floor, etc. Use timeouts when necessary in the event of disruptive mealtime behaviors.

•Continue offering new foods many times, even if the foods were refused in the past. Be patient and persistent.