Specialized Programs

Helping your child get the nutrition they need to thrive. The Feeding Clinic offered at the Mankato Clinic Children’s Health Center is a cooperative effort between Mankato Clinic and Pediatric Therapy Services, Inc.

At the Feeding Clinic, we bring together our team of specialists from Pediatrics, Nutrition Education and Occupational and Speech Therapy to work with each patient and family on an individual plan for care. Eating is not always easy for everyone. It requires that multiple systems in our bodies work together seamlessly allowing us to swallow and digest the nutrients we need to grow and be healthy.

When a child is struggling to eat-whether it is difficulty chewing or swallowing, an aversion to food textures, mealtime anxiety or a chronic health issue-it often requires a team to work together to ensure that each situation is met with the proper evaluation and treatment.

Download the brochure

What is a Videofluoroscopic Swallow Study or VFSS

Feeding Clinic Screening Form

Feeding Clinic Evaluation Form

Feeding Clinic Registration Form

Feeding Clinic Return Visit Evaluation Packet

Feeding Clinic Return Visit Cover Letter


Augmentative and Alternative Communication, or AAC, is used when a person is not able to verbally communicate wants, needs, or thoughts completely.  AAC can be used by a person of any age and includes all forms of communication.  People who have difficulty communicating can use solely AAC or in addition to other modes to express themselves.  These AAC systems may serve a short-term purpose for a child who is progressing in their speech or may be a long-term need for a child with more significant communication delays.  A Speech-Language Pathologist at PTS, Inc. can help your child find the best mode of communication for them.  PTS, Inc. has a variety of AAC options to trial including a variety of specialized electronic devices, switches, communication boards, Pragmatic Organization of Dynamic Display (PODD) books, picture symbols, etc. 


Therapeutic listening is a structured program of auditory training to spectrally modified music that is individually selected for each client. Your occupational therapist will evaluate your child to determine if your child would benefit from a modified music program and which type of music could be the most beneficial. Although atrial with an auditory program will be completed by the therapist in the treatment session, the greatest benefits from auditory stimulation is seen with carryover of programming in the home or school environment by the child’s caregivers.

How does Therapeutic Listening work?

The music stimulates the central nervous system and autonomic nervous system by way of the muscles of the middle ear. The auditory system provides the foundation for the organization of all other senses so that selective attention can occur.

How long will my child need to use therapeutic listening?

The greater the degree of difficulties with modulation or sensory sensitivities the longer a client will remain on modulated music. A child may remain on a therapeutic listening program for 6-8 months total.

How do I know the program is working?

You will see changes in function or targeted behaviors. Your OT will help you to identify these improvements.

What are possible side effects of the program?

Some children may complain of an “itch” in their ear. This is caused by exercise to a muscle much like the strain felt after exercising any other muscle of the body. Increased intake of water is recommended to help the body adjust to this response. The child’s typical daily patterns (sleep, appetite) may be temporarily disrupted. This should only persist for a day or two. Please contact your therapist if this persists for longer.

Still have questions about sensory integration issues? Call and ask to talk to an Occupational Therapist (507) 388-5437; or email us


In neurofeedback training, a specialized monitoring device is used to capture and record brainwave activity (EEG) through sensors attached to the patient.  The patient is “rewarded” with visual and auditory feedback when specific brainwave activity is produced.  The exercises help to strengthen more efficient brainwave patterns and inhibit patterns that are less effective.  Neurofeedback Training allows a patient the opportunity to “feel” what it is like to use their brain more effectively and efficiently.OT- neuro2

How does Neurofeedback Training Work?

The therapist sets parameters for training in which more efficient patterns of brainwave activity will be rewarded and less efficient patterns will be inhibited.  The patient observes his or her performance much like watching a video game in action.

What does the patient experience during Neurofeedback Training?

The patient is rewarded with visual changes on a television monitor displaying a video game.  Unlike other video games, there are no game controllers for this program because your brainwaves are making the game work!

What changes can be seen with the use of Neurofeedback Training?

There are many symptoms that can be treated with the use of Neurofeedback Training when feedback is provided to various parts of the brain.  In general, changes that can be seen include changes to sleep patterns, improvements in alertness and orientation, increased auditory processing, increased emotional regulation, decreased distractibility, decreased activity level, and increased initiation and participation in functional activity.

How will Neurofeedback Training be used in my child’s treatment session?

Neurofeedback training is used as a treatment modality concurrently with traditional OT intervention approaches to address the goals established at the time of your child’s evaluation or re-evaluation.

What are the risks associated with Neurofeedback Training?

Since Neurofeedback Training is a noninvasive method of intervention, there are few harmful side effects related to its use.  Occasionally, patients may report a temporary increase in negative symptoms such as feeling more anxious, more distractible, or more difficulty sleeping.  This increase in symptoms is temporary, however, please report any changes you may observe to your therapist who can use this information to modify the treatment plan.

How Can I help my child who is using Neurofeedback Training?

  • Sleep is critical to the success of neurofeedback training as sleep deprivation will limit the effectiveness of training. Please help your child in establishing and adhering to a consistent bedtime schedule.
  • Diet may effect the training process. Please limit or avoid sugary drinks, caffeinated drinks, candy and junk food, simple carbohydrate snacks (bread, crackers, etc.) and fast foods while training.
  • Hungry children are less likely to be successful with training. If there is not enough time for a meal prior to your session please provide your child with a high protein (sugar free) snack.
  • Motivation is essential to the effectiveness of training. Helping the therapist to establish a positive reward system may help the child to find external supports to be successful with neurofeedback training.
  • Although Neurofeedback training may be used to assist with attention, it is important to remember and utilize sensory organizational strategies throughout your child’s day to assist with sensory maintenance and allow appropriate outlets for activity. Please review and implement sensory organizational strategies in your child’s day.


The Interactive metronome (IM) is a computer based program that enables individuals to directly exercise and improve the processes of motor planning, timing, sequencing, and organization. Impairments in motor planning, timing, sequencing, and organization are commonly part of a variety of developmental and learning challenges, including ADHD/ADD, pervasive developmental disorders, autism, sensory integration disorder, and neurological impairments such as cerebral palsy or other developmental disabilities in which an attentional impairment is seen.

OT- theraputic listening3How does IM work?

The interactive metronome is a PC-based interactive system based on the traditional music metronome combined with auditory and/or visual feedback. Hand and foot sensors are used to objectively measure a user’s planning and sequencing performance during a variety of tapping and clapping exercises. The program analyzes exactly when in time each tap occurs in relation to the reference beat and instantaneously transposes this timing information into special sounds that are heard in headphone and the taps are occurring providing feedback for the trainee. Like training wheels on a bicycle, the sounds are used by the individual to more accurately synchronize his or her tap with the steady metronome beat.

What is required to complete IM training?

Based on the results of clinical studies, a frequency of 3x/week intervention is recommended to obtain maximum benefit from IM training.

What improvements are seen with IM?

Documented studies have indicated improvements in the areas of attention, motor control, bilateral coordination, language processing, reading, academic achievement, and the ability to regulate aggression.

This therapy treatment approach utilizes a horse during therapy. Specially trained therapists use this treatment for patients with movement dysfunction. The goals of the therapy are to improve the patient’s posture, balance, mobility, and function.