Spectrum Pediatrics

We offer speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, as well as feeding therapy and tube weaning through at Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

Is your child ready to get moving and stay busy this summer?
➡️Head to any local playground, blacktop, or quiet open street with ample open space with your favorite bicycle or scooter! All of these help teach postural control and coordination to stay upright.
🚲 Bicycles work on great bilateral coordination to move the pedals. Balance bikes are great choices for younger kids who have difficulty with pedals.
🛴 Scooters are a great choice to address leg balance and strength since you have to push off the ground with a foot to move forward.


The Best Toys for SLPs Are the Toys That Do Nothing -

This is a wonderful article from the The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association blog! Toys should not be something to distract your child, but something to help them learn skills. Through the coaching model, our therapists work with parents to use toys or items they already have in their house. This allows for parents to feel empowered and capable of playing with toys with their child in a functional way!


blog.asha.org Pediatric SLPs often use toys in sessions to keep children engaged in learning. So, which toys should we recommend to parents?

Have you heard about Mighty Maggie? If not, check out this recent post at Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics to watch the video of Maggie's journey to becoming tube-free!

"Every time I see her eat it just makes me smile and it's so exciting!" - Maggie's family sat down with Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics to share their tube weaning journey with Thrive. Maggie has transitioned from tube dependency to being a tube-free, happy, and healthy eater! Watch the video and hear more about their journey here:


Today is April 1st, which marks the first day of World Autism Month! At Spectrum Pediatrics and Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics, we work with children of all different ages with Autism. This month, we will be featuring communication tips, fun activities, and ways for you to spread Autism Awareness within your community! To learn more, go to:



[03/17/19]   It's our Birthday!!! 15 years ago today Spectrum Pediatrics was born. Thank you to our friends and families and most of all to the amazing kids who make up the heart and soul of our company. Stay tuned in the coming few weeks for some very exciting announcements........

Spectrum Pediatrics

Spectrum Pediatrics's cover photo

Spectrum Pediatrics

Happy Snow Day!


Spectrum Pediatrics is closed today, February 20th, 2019 due to the snow! Enjoy your warm, cozy snow day with your little ones. Here are a few fun activities you can do while stuck at home today:

- Build a pillow fort!
- Make hot chocolate with fun toppings like sprinkles and whipped cream!
- Go sledding in the yard!

Have fun! See you soon!

SNOW DAY UPDATE! We are closed all day today January 14th, 2019 in Alexandria! Happy Snow Day!

We will be opening at NOON on Monday January 14th! Wishing everyone a cozy and fun SNOW DAY! Here are a few Snow Day activity ideas for you and your kids (in addition to all the snowball fights and snow angels):

- Make a fort
- Add "snow" to fruit or snacks with powdered sugar or whipped cream
- Pajama Dance Party
- Collage making with old magazines
- Play Charades
- Make cut paper snowflakes
- Play Balloon Tennis (use wooden spoons for racquets)
- Paint or shaving cream fun in the bathtub
- Make a Book Birds Nest. Toss pillows and blankets on the floor. Just add books and have a family reading marathon.

We will be opening at NOON on Monday January 14th! Wishing everyone a cozy and fun SNOW DAY! Here are a few Snow Day activity ideas for you and your kids (in addition to all the snowball fights and snow angels):

- Make a fort
- Add "snow" to fruit or snacks with powdered sugar or whipped cream
- Pajama Dance Party
- Collage making with old magazines
- Play Charades
- Make cut paper snowflakes
- Play Balloon Tennis (use wooden spoons for racquets)
- Paint or shaving cream fun in the bathtub
- Make a Book Birds Nest. Toss pillows and blankets on the floor. Just add books and have a family reading marathon.

Tube weaning can be a tough journey and rest is important! Riley is in the intensive portion of our tube weaning program right now and we are so excited to watch her progress! Thank you to @rileyroostubewean for sharing your journey ❤️ #tubeweaning #feedingtube #thrivewithspectrum #Repost @rileyroostubewean with @get_repost
End of Day 7 - It’s not a set back but rather a much needed break to rest. The therapy that Riley has done is close to 9 months of feeding therapy in like 5 days. She’s determined to get this eating thing mastered! The strength and focus she’s shown these past 7 days is mind blowing. Each day she’s perfected a skill further or tried something new.
I just adore our therapist Brie! She truly cares about not only Riley but how we are doing. She’s amazing! She came over multiple times today to check in on Riley... but I think she also really wanted to make sure that I was holding up good ❤️ Brie recommended giving Riley the rest of the day/night off. Riley will get some formula through the tube to help her feel full and rested for a new day tomorrow.
Hope Riley knows how proud we are and we know how much she’s pushed herself. And I hope our therapist, Brie know how much we love the support and education that she’s provided our family! She’s the best!!! ❤️❤️❤️ #trisomy21 #specialneedsmom #theluckyfew #feedingtherapy #tubefed #nothingdownaboutit #downsyndromeawareness #downsyndrome #downsyndromelove


Responsive Feeding Therapy with Severe Feeding Challenges: Lessons from Responsive Tube Weaning (Guest Post 1) | Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating

Our friends at Extreme Picky Eating Help featured Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics as a guest post on their blog. At Thrive, we work with children who have a variety of feeding difficulties that range from "picky" eating and a struggle with trying new foods, to those who refuse to eat or drink anything and are completely tube dependent. We know that it is especially difficult to use responsive feeding techniques when children have more severe feeding challenges. However, even children with the most extreme aversions can blossom if they are allowed to relax and grow through the use of responsive feeding and here's why:


extremepickyeating.com From parents and even professionals at workshops, we are often asked, "Well, Responsive Feeding Therapy sounds good, but does it work for children with severe challenges, or who 'can't' feel hunger due to medical issues or feeding tubes?" In this first guest post of two, we explore responsive therap...

Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

“It did not matter if I could learn to chew and swallow. All that mattered was I liked the food.” -Evie, 11 years old, Feeding Superstar

Ever wonder what intensive feeding therapy looks like from the perspective of an 11 year old learning how to eat? Our recent guest blog post features Evie. She tells her story of becoming an eater with #thrivewithspectrum.



Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

Looking for more information on our intensive tube weaning program? Check it out here!

Did you ever wonder why feeding therapy doesn’t look anything like the meals you hope to have? We did too! At Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics, we believe that tube-fed kids need to learn to eat in the same safe way that other kids learn to eat, utilizing the same principles of healthy eating that are good for everyone.

Meet Jennifer Berry and Heidi Liefer Moreland, as they introduce the philosophy behind the Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics Tube Weaning Program. Watch as they explain how a healthy relationship with food that is shared by the whole family leads to freedom from tube-feeding, enjoyment at mealtimes, and lifelong healthy eating habits.

Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

To learn more about our Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics ASHA 2018 presentation and poster session, check out the most recent blog post! There are PDF versions of both the poster and presentation for your convenience!

For those of you who were interested in seeing our #ASHA18 presentation and poster, it is now up on our Thrive blog! Check it out here!

#responsivefeeding #tubeweaning #selfregulation #familymealtimes



Family mealtimes are so important. Thank you Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics for sharing!

Who would you most like to have dinner with?
This question was asked to parents and then it was separately asked to their kids.Their answers were as different as heaven and earth and the parents ended up crying.Watch till the end.

Like this page

So proud of our Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics team for their wonderful week at #ASHA18! Stay tuned for more information on their presentation and what their exciting interview was all about!

Heading home from #ASHA18 feeling so proud and honored to have been able to present on our feeding philosophy and share our data from our #tubeweaning program! We even squeezed in an exciting video interview, STAY TUNED! Thank you @ashaweb for the opportunity! #divisionofresponsibility #familymeals #responsivefeeding #feedingtube

Today is the day! We are at #ASHA18 and presenting at 5:00 on #divisionofresponsibility, #familymealtimes, and #selfregulation! Presentation #1628, room CC/161 @ 5:00! #tubeweaning #feedingtherapy

So excited for our Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics team! Check them out at #ASHA18!

We are so excited and honored to be presenting at #ASHA18 on the #divisionofresponsibility and #selfregulation! If you’re here come check out presentation #1628 Friday @ 5:00!

Congratulations Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics! Can’t wait to hear more about the presentation at #ASHA18

Our Thrive team is presenting at #ASHA18 on Friday and we are so excited to share why #responsivefeeding, self-regulation, and the #divisionofresponsibility are so important during family mealtimes! Stay tuned for more info on our presentation! #feeding #tubeweaning #foodisfun #familymeals

Don't forget to follow our new feeding division of Spectrum Pediatrics, Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics to learn more about family mealtime coaching, feeding therapy, and our tube weaning services!

It is NOT your job to pressure your child to eat healthy foods. Determining your role and your child's role during mealtimes can be tricky, but crucial for developing a positive relationship with food! Our recent blog post discusses Ellyn Satter Institute #divisionofresponsibility and why this is so important!


#responsivefeeding #foodisfun #familymeals

Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

#divisionofresponsibility #responsivefeeding

It can be hard to establish different roles for the parent and child during mealtimes. Thanks to Ellyn Satter Institute we have the #divisionofresponsibility to help us out. These roles are crucial to helping your child establish a positive relationship with food. #responsivefeeding #familymealtime #tubeweaning

Grace Wong RD MSc

Children develop as a whole person. Delayed motor skills like sitting, core strength development and bilateral movement can impact the development of feeding skills.

So I want to share this article on Container Baby Syndrome. But my intention is not to shame or judge any parent who uses these products. I used them too. Play pens, baby saucers, bouncers, swings, I had used them all. I had left babies in the carseat just so I could eat a meal peacefully at a restaurant.

There is enough parenting-perfectionism around. I share this with the intention to provide information and to caution the overuse of these products. Many don't realize the risks because the marketing is kind of sneaky. Check out this quote 👇

"While many of these products make parents feel the baby is working on these skills by standing in an activity center or sitting in a floor seat, containers actually prevent children from sitting or standing in correct alignment and result in an inability to activate important muscles. Equipment can hinder the development of skills and place inappropriate stress on developing bones and joints - placing the child at risk for other injuries.

These issues mean that children who use containers may actually take longer to develop skills such as sitting, standing and walking."

Thanks Food Smart Kids =)

Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

Feeding Tube to Family Table: How does that work? Learn more about the Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics Tube Weaning program here!

Feeding Tube to Family Table: How does that work? #tubeweaning #feedingtube #responsivefeeding #familymealtimecoaching #feedingtherapy http://ow.ly/ROJ830mtodg

Thank you for sharing Extreme Picky Eating Help ! Check out our page at Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics!

Check out the new feeding specialty division with our friends and colleagues at thrivewithspectrum.com #responsivefeedingtherapy

Did you hear the news?!

We are so excited to announce our new specialty division, Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics! Thrive offers expert feeding therapy, family mealtime coaching, and feeding tube weaning. The team at Thrive helps children overcome their feeding challenges, supports parents as they work to establish happy and healthy mealtimes, and rejoices as children and families learn to EAT, LOVE, and THRIVE.

Follow the Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics page to learn more, or check us out on Instagram at: @thrivewithspectrum and Twitter at: @thrivewithsp.

#feedingtubeweaning #feedingtherapy #familymealtimecoaching #responsivefeeding

We cannot wait to get our copy of #theeatinginstinct by Virginia Sole-Smith. Baltimore/DC friends, are you interested in meeting Virginia and learning more about her book? Check out the locations below for where she will be during her book tour!


Happy Mealtimes and Healthy Eaters: Four Things Every Parent Should Know – Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

We know #responsivefeeding works and #briberybackfires. So what else leads to happy mealtimes and healthy eaters? Check out our post on the top 4 things every parent should know for a successful mealtime! #betterwaythanpotatopay #betterthanpotatopay http://ow.ly/9wPO30mp2Lc

thrivewithspectrum.com “Isn’t my job to make them eat healthy?”: It is often forgotten that children and parents both have their own roles to play during mealtimes. Ellyn Satter describes the Division of Responsibility (sDOR), which breaks down the different roles between parents and their child.


What does “Responsive Feeding” Really Mean? – Thrive by Spectrum Pediatrics

The recent #potatopay campaign by Ore-Ida Potatoes sends the message that bribing works at mealtimes. We know that is not true and #bribingbackfires. #Responsivefeeding works. Learn more about why here: http://ow.ly/x6zV30mp2z8 #betterwaythanpotatopay #betterthanpotatopay

thrivewithspectrum.com Responsive Feeding: Mealtime guidance that depends upon the feeder’s ability to read the eater’s cues in order to make the meal manageable, enjoyable and successful for the eater, without giving up developmentally appropriate structure and expectations.

The Feeding Doctor

#betterwaythanpotatopay #responsivefeeding #freethefrenchfry #bribingbackfires

We've been seeing some pretty egregious advertising for a product meant to bribe children to eat. (Not linking on purpose...) Several of us like-minded professionals today will be posting about a better way than battles and bribes and paying kids to eat. Pressure backfires. #betterwaythanpotatopay #responsivefeeding

#betterthanpotatopay #responsivefeeding #freethefrenchfry #bribingbackfires

How Nutritionism Overshadows the Developmental Process of Food Acceptance #responsivefeeding #betterthanpotatopay #potatopaybackfires

Nutritionism (Scrinis 2008) described a social phenomenon that foods are primarily viewed as aggregates of nutrients. With an exaggerated focus on the function of nutrients, we are misled to believe that the purpose of eating is limited to the ingestion of nutrients without considering the broader behavioural, cultural and social context. When I ask people what they ate and expect answers like turkey sandwich or soup and salad, I commonly hear "some protein" or "a Paleo lunch". Nutrients or the diet of choice have become representation of foods. In a way, we are moving towards eating nutrients instead of food like protein bars and protein powder.

Another way nutritionism shows up in our food culture is dichotomizing food as "good vs. bad" (or euphemized labels like"red, yellow, green" or "everyday vs. sometimes"). E.g. carbs are "bad" , so pasta is "bad". Vegetables are "good". (Actually eating too much vegetables can cause digestion problems!) Are banana pancakes good or bad? (Hm... maybe it's bad because it's "sugary"? Oh, we can get a fruit out of it, so maybe it's good? But banana is not good, too "starchy". What about the potassium that has been shown to lower blood pressure?) Food may become good or bad on any given day depending on the latest nutrition fad or which nutrition study catches the attention of journalists.

The impact of this preoccupation with nutrients has also trickled to our children. We are inundated by the cultural pressure to feed our children "healthy foods", whatever this means. We become worried that "they only like processed foods" when young toddlers are loving their o-cereal and white bread. Indeed these foods are easy to chew and maneuver around while they are learning how to coordinate their oral movements. When they are exploring the taste and texture of meat (which may include the process of spitting it out and rejecting it), we fret that they become malnourished because protein is the nutrient most embraced by the wellness culture right now.

What gets missed within this limited framework of nutritionism is eating, like walking and talking, evolves through a developmental process. Learning how to eat a variety of foods is a process. Food acceptance refers to our ability to navigate novel foods. Developing food acceptance demands our sensory systems to adapt and tolerate new sensory experience, along with other complex processes of development. Overly focusing on nutrients overlooks this learning process.

Increased parental worries of nutrient intake compromises our patience when children are still learning and developing food acceptance. They need company and support along the way. They need us to sit with them during mealtimes. They need us to provide foods as options. They need us to observe and witness whether they enthuse over a food or reject it with a passion. Monitoring what nutrients get eaten distracts us from being present with our children. It stops us from paying attention and being responsive to our children. When children are not well supported in this learning phase, they will likely NOT enjoy eating, become less interested in eating, less curious about new foods, and less motivated to nourish themselves. Eating becomes a tasteless chore. In the end, they are even less likely to be well-nourished.

Our culture of nutritionism has not improved our health and, if anything, only heightened our food and nutrition anxiety. If we pause for a moment and consider, " What would happen... if we were to start thinking about food as less of a thing and more of a relationship?" (Pollan 2007)

If we pause for a moment and reflect, does nutritionism show up in my feeding relationship with my children? Has it been helpful or harmful?

If we pause for a moment and wonder... the possibilities if we can turn off that voice of nutrition clatter.

Photo by Taylor Kiser on Unsplash

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Videos (show all)

Spectrum Pediatrics Tube Weaning Program
Tummy Time Tips for your Baby
Helping to Build Your Child's Communication
From Feeding Tube to Family Table
Infant Massage Presentation - Key Components
Infant Massage Presentation - Benefits





2869 Duke St
Alexandria, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
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