A little about me…

Jeans are my thing, I’m pretty cranky if I have to wear anything else, unless it’s a humid day in Pittsburgh, which it often is in the summer. I’m a Trader Joe’s groupie and love a good deal. My friends will tell you that I like to talk. A lot. And in detail… Has that come across here?

My husband is pretty awesome in general, but is also really good at building stuff, so we are always involved in some DIY project. I love art and design, so we make a good team. Before deciding to be an OT (and I’m glad I did), I spent my whole life dreaming of being an artist.  My boys, Sam, Isaac, and James can sometimes be found pretend playing they are blogging on their toy computers!

Professional Background

I’m a Duquesne University alum and hold a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy.  I have primarily worked in the early intervention setting, which provides in-home therapy to children 0-3 years of age, but have also worked in outpatient and school settings with children up to 21 years old. I’ve also completed a variety of continuing education courses on children’s feeding skills.  In part, those courses haveshaped my clinical approach and strategies. Some of the information you find here are based on the S.O.S. (Sensory, Oral, Sequential) Approach to Feeding  and Talk Tools.

Sensory Solutions

I am the co-creator of  Sensory Solutions: Understanding and Supporting Your Unique Child, a three week e-course that transforms the lives of parents with kids that have sensory differences.   A Free Mini Course is also available, which includes 3 lessons via video and PDF to help parents begin to pull together their understanding. Make sure you get on the waiting list!

Favorite Posts

Mealtime Rules: Yea, Nay, or Maybe?

Toddler Portion Sizes

Common Mistakes Parents Make Feeding Their Child

How to Make a Sensory Cool Down Spot

Is Your Child Eating Enough Variety?

Everything Oral Sensory Processing

Comments

  1. This is an amazing article. Well, I still have a question and request if you can help. My baby started to take water from a sippy cup when he was~7 months old, and seemed to enjoy it. But as he was a colic baby, someday this idea struck in my mind that he might be gulping a lot of air from the cup, I stopped giving this cup to him. I again introduced it after few months and he didn’t take it. He is now 22 months and refuses to drink milk from it by all means. He infact doesn’t try milk or milkshake and spit it out if gulped by mistake. He is still fine with drinking water from sippy cup, or even from open cup or glass, but not every time.
    Do you have suggestions on how should I wean him from bottle (nuk stage 1 sippy cup kind of bottle). Also, how can I encourage him to have milkshakes from sippy cup, open cups or glass?

    • Hi Sarika, did you see the article on How to Wean From a Bottle- this comment is on the About page so I’m not sure what you were reading. If you haven’t read that check it out and let me know if you have any questions. You can find that in the article index tab in the menu bar. I will say that by 22 months they can have a strong association with their milk cup. Keep trying, every day, at every meal. Give praise for anything he does. I would recommend a straw over a sippy, as well.

  2. Love your article about turning Isaac’s eating around, thank you!! He is my son’s eating twin! Totally sensory issues with food. He’s 3.5 how and I have to tackle it again! I’ll Be reading ink How us Isaac now? I think he’s slightly older than my son, Nico. His younger brother will eat anything but has a dairy/soya allergy and reflux so meals never straightforwardin our house Thanks again! Xx

    • Hi Emily! Thanks so much for asking! Isaac is now 4, and has made a ton of progress, but his eating is far from perfect. I’m okay with that, he is healthy and he has a good variety! However, there are still times that I feel like he regresses a little, and as soon as he gets into those sensory activities I see almost immediate improvement. So glad you found your way here!

  3. In researching what to feed my 11month old, I came across your website. I am a stay at home mom and I feel like I struggle every day in trying to find tasty, healthy meals for my baby. I found your meal idea articles to be super helpful! I also stumbled across your other articles as well. In particular, “How to wean from bottle.” Again, the information was super helpful! However, I saw that you breastfed all of your children and I do as well. I am struggling to wean him off breastfeeding and I have no idea how to do it. Do you have any articles on that or any suggestions on how to do it? I have been trying to give him a bottle but he refuses it from me (will only take one from my husband and just barely). He loves nursing (especially to sleep) and throws fits when he can’t do it. Any suggestions or advice would be much appreciated!

    • I’m so glad that you found a lot of useful resources here! That’s wonderful, thank you for sharing that. You know it is funny, I was just thinking yesterday that I need an article breast weaning, I don’t have one! As you know this can be a controversial topic, but I choose to wean all my kids around a year, none of them ever took a bottle really great. I think if you do it before 15 months they don’t form significant attachements because of where they are developmentally. After 15 months old it can get more difficult. Right at my kids first birthdays I started to take away 1 of the 4-5 feedings I was offering a day, I started in the middle of the day and just offered them their next meal sooner. Really this part is very similar to bottle weaning so you can apply some of the info. I then just put regular cows milk or pumped milk or a combination into a straw cup at meals. Once they are 12 months they only need 16 oz a day. I kept eliminating one feeding at a time, they all were always okay with it. I took away feeding 3-7 days apart to allow for a slower transition. In your case I would just wait a couple more weeks until his birthday and just forget the bottle. My oldest never took one. I have a post coming out on monday about feeding schedules for this age range it will probably be helpful. You can sign up for the email list in the sidebar, its at the top (different from the sensory newsletter you see at the top of the page). That will notify you when I release new articles. Let me know if you need more help!

  4. Hi Alisha
    It has truly been a relief to discover your blog Alisha after an enduring two years struggle with my two year old son. Ever since he was four months old when I first introduced solids I have always noticed his lack of curiosity and defensiveness when it comes to anything to do with food. He doesn’t like to touch or feed himself and holds up his hands to block me. Other substances he is also very cautious with like sand or grass. He has a very sensitive mouth and stomach. When I try to give him just a teaspoon of something different or lumpy food (meat or pasta) usually he throws up right afterwards. Currently he is only able to eat porridge; yoghurt and fruit purees and drinks milk formula. I am deeply concerned because of his underweight issues and delayed speech etc. Being my first child I feel extremely out of my depth and quite alone in trying to help my son. If you have any tips on how I can encourage my son to show more interest in food, your expertise would be most welcomed.

    • I am so sorry for the long delay. Please, first know that you are not alone, although I know it feels that way. I have a ton of information on here that will be really helpful to you. There are two places you can start. First, is the eating tab in the menu bar, click on basics. Start by implementing all of those suggestions, it will give you a really good foundation. Second, see the article index in the menu bar and read sensory processing and picky eating, as well as, which will give you a lot of specific strategies. After reading those please let me know if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!

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