Pediatric Speech Therapy Case Study: The Side Biter™ for Early Intervention Feeding Therapy

May 17, 2023
Client Medical Diagnosis Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Client Speech-Language Pathologist Diagnosis Oral Dysphagia/Pediatric Feeding Disorder
Client Age/Gender Pediatric, gender not specified
Treatment Tool(s) Used The Side Biter
Treating Clinician Name/Title Rachael Doyle, Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP)
Facility Type/Department School/Pediatric Developmental Center/Pediatric Feeding Therapy - Early Intervention

Summary of Evaluation and Care for Pediatric Client with ASD presenting with Oral Dysphagia/Pediatric Feeding Disorder

Diagnosis Definitions

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): A neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave (National Institute of Mental Health).
  • Oral Dysphagia: Difficulty moving food or liquid from the mouth, throat, or esophagus to the stomach (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association). 
  • Pediatric Feeding Disorder: Includes problems with sucking, eating from a spoon, chewing, or drinking from a cup (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).
  • International Dysphagia Diet Standardization Initiative (IDDSI) Framework: Provides a common terminology for describing food textures and drink thicknesses to improve safety for individuals with swallowing difficulties (IDDSI). 

Background of Medical and Speech-Language Pathologist Diagnosis

  • Client was being seen by Early Intervention (EI) twice a week for feeding therapy due to limited feeding progression, frequent vomiting, and limited food inventory secondary to ASD, surgical history, and underlying medical conditions.
  • When therapy began, client was consuming only purees (IDDSI-4).
  • The Side Biter was introduced to client and family with familiar, preferred flavors of fruits and vegetables.

Treatment Tool Outcome

  • Client was able to engage with the foods while loading The Side Biter, giving an opportunity for client-driven desensitization to the consistency.
  • Over the next few weeks, client progressed to client-directed exploration with The Side Biter on the checks, lips, and oral cavity.
  • Progression through the [Side Biter] kit continued the exposure and progress over the next 5 months.
  • Client is now consuming textured purees, yogurt, and (IDDSI-5) fruits.
  • Gagging has decreased and is no longer leading to vomiting.

Visit The Side Biter™ page for more information about this innovative tool, including a demonstration video and full product details.

Case Study Disclaimer: The information and data contained in this case study was voluntarily provided by a licensed clinician and is not a representative of AliMed, Inc. Individual methods of treatment and results using any represented speech therapy tool or product may vary. Images are for illustrative purposes only and are not a representation of actual client use.


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