SOS Approach to Feeding at STAR Center, Denver CO (U.S.A.)
My husband and I learned about things that we had no idea existed, like Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), for example. So we also learned about our son, Troy, and why he probably did some things or reacted certain ways, etc. They are trained professionals and know what to look for and know what some things can mean. I believe therapies not only helped our son, but helped my husband and I (to understand as well as to better help Troy). The knowledge and education my son's therapists have is quite impressive! For example, we didn't know a yawn, cough or gag could mean more than just it's face value! Also, the therapists work as a team every day. Constantly talking about how working on something in particular in OT might help his therapy sessions progress with the SLP in Food School. When needed or thought useful, Troy's SLP would include Dr. Kay Toomey on the discussions or have Dr. Toomey observe Food School and give her input on things. Dr. Kay Toomey is the developer of the S.O.S. Approach to Feeding by the way!!
I think that the sensory therapies helped in other ways. They just might not be as easy to see and evaluate from my uneducated perspective. For example, children don't always progress in several areas at one time. So may progress with Gross Motor while speech, fine motor, etc. don't progress much or at all. Then gross motor takes a back seat and speech will take a leap forward. Also, Troy still has fairly early eating/chewing skills. So it's not surprising that he doesn't really have language because he isn't at that skill level yet. So it all just takes time and one skill prepares for another skill. Troy has come a long way but he isn't at the skill level of a nearly 3 year old. However, my husband and I feel he would be much, much, much further behind if it's weren't for therapies at STAR Center.
While growing up, my parents always used to tell me that "education is never a waste." I feel the same about therapies in Denver. No time we have ever spent there has ever been a waste. We always learned something even if it wasn't the most progressive month. That's just my opinion. Obviously you want to maximize therapies for the cost/time. So we try to go when we feel we are at a dead end or don't know what the next steps are. I think Troy's progress will continue as long as I/we continue while at home. We continue to stay in touch with his therapists in Denver. We want to stay on track. We get help with his diet (through a dietician that works with the Center) as needed. I still ask questions about his tube feed volumes, etc to his Denver SLP. They will Skype, email, schedule phone calls. It's not like you're alone once you get home. Because believe me I was TERRIFIED to go home after each therapy block. It's a heavy to weight to carry knowing that you're the primary make shift, unprofessional, "therapist" in your home.
Obviously every child and situation is different but those are my experiences/thoughts! Hope it is helpful in some way!