Feeding and Nutritional Therapy


Your child may have been referred for an oral motor/feeding evaluation secondary to concerns that your child is refusing to eat or has difficulty chewing or swallowing. Frequent concerns that warrant a feeding evaluation are as follows:  

  • Limited or poor oral intake 

  • Slow or inadequate weight gain 

  • Difficulty chewing certain textures

  • Coughing, choking or gagging with liquids or solids

  • Oral motor or chewing difficulty 

  • Oral sensitivity and difficulty with textures

  • Difficulty transitioning to table foods

  • Frequent refusal to eat or drink

  • “Picky” eaters or food refusals 

  • Fear or anxiety related to eating 

 During the feeding evaluation, Shine feeding specialists will take a thorough medical and feeding history. Your child will further be observed with a feeding in order to fully assess your child’s oral musculature and feeding skills during a meal.  Our experienced feeding team looks at the whole child during the evaluation in order to fully address the feeding concerns. Following the feeding evaluation, feeding therapy may be recommended.  Shine therapists are experienced with a range of ages and feeding concerns including infant feedings, transitioning children to an age appropriate diet level, as well as addressing picky feeding.  Our feeding team specialists work when necessary with other providers in the area, including pediatric gastroenterologists, dieticians, and a wide range of medical specialists following the evaluation to help families and their children who are struggling to have successful mealtimes.

Our Feeding Therapists


Kristin Faulkner, MS, CCC-SLP/L

Director of Feeding

Kristin Faulkner, M.S., CCC-SLP, is  a certified speech language pathologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children with feeding disorders.  Using strategies developed during the past 16 years of practice, Kristin works closely with families as well as a team of providers including occupational therapists, physical therapists, and dietitians to promote safe feedings for the child and enjoyable mealtimes for the entire family.  Kristin's experiences include working at the Children's Hospital of Illinois, developing the current feeding program at Easter Seals, and visiting homes and schools to promote successful feeding for children.   Kristin's experience has included working with a wide variety of children including children transitioning from g-tube feedings to oral feedings, children on the autism spectrum, as well as "picky eaters.” Kristin has had the opportunity to publicly speak regarding pediatric feeding at the local level as well as through Illinois State University.  Kristin is currently involved and has held past board positions through the Peoria Area Speech and Hearing Association (PASHA).


Amy Beck, MS, CCC-SLP/L

Amy has been providing speech therapy services in the Peoria area since 2002, after graduating with her Master’s Degree in Speech Pathology from Illinois State University. Her career began in a pediatric clinic setting working alongside therapists from other disciplines and obtaining Early Intervention credentials in 2003.  Amy has also worked for a local school district, evaluating and treating speech and language disorders for preschool to high school aged students.  Her work experience includes working with geriatric populations, providing speech, language, cognitive, and feeding therapy.  Amy’s more recent pediatric experiences include evaluating and treating receptive and expressive language disorders, apraxia of speech, and phonological disorders.  She has specific interest in the area of pediatric feeding disorders.  Amy has completed extensive training for childhood feeding and swallowing disorders, including Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) strategies.  She enjoys working with children and families, along with other professionals, to enhance a child’s skills and watch them succeed in everyday activities.  Outside of work, Amy loves spending time with family and friends, especially her husband and 3 children.

Our Dietitian

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Ally Cole, RD, LDN

Ally is a Registered Dietitian and Licensed Dietitian Nutritionist who has spent most of her career focusing on pediatric nutrition, ensuring children are adequately meeting their nutrient needs to best grow and develop. Ally has been a practicing dietitian since 2012.  She received her Bachelor of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois, her didactic program in dietetics from Bradley University and completed her clinical internship at Ingalls Memorial Hospital. Ally’s experience has included working at University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital in the arenas of pediatric cancer, intensive care, food allergies, weight management, g-tube and j-tube feedings, advancements in oral feeds, oral aversions, and childhood disease management and education. Ally enjoys cooking, practicing yoga and spending quality time with her two beautiful kids, family and friends.