Occupational Therapy for ARFID

We provide occupational therapy online for children, adolescents and adults with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID). 

We are a registered NDIS provider and use an inclusive approach to therapy, where the person can be in the comfort and familiarity of their own home.

How can occupational therapy benefit people with ARFID?

Occupational therapy can benefit people with ARFID in several ways:

1. Sensory integration therapy:

Occupational therapists can use sensory integration techniques to address sensory issues related to food and eating. These techniques help individuals gradually desensitize themselves to different food textures, tastes, and smells, making it easier for them to expand their limited food preferences.

2. Mealtime and self-feeding skills:

Occupational therapists can work on building mealtime routines and self-feeding skills with individuals with ARFID. They can provide strategies to improve the person’s ability to independently eat a wider variety of foods and increase their mealtime engagement.

3. Anxiety management:

ARFID can often be associated with anxiety and fear related to specific foods. Occupational therapists can help individuals develop coping strategies and relaxation techniques to manage their anxiety. This can reduce the stress associated with mealtime and make the process of trying new foods less overwhelming.

4. Fine motor skills and oral motor skills:

Occupational therapists can address any fine motor or oral motor difficulties that may contribute to a restricted diet. They can provide exercises and activities to improve strength, coordination, and control in the hands, fingers, and mouth to make eating different foods easier and more enjoyable.

5. Environmental modifications:

Occupational therapists can suggest modifications to the environment to support individuals with ARFID. This can include altering the presentation and appearance of foods, creating visual schedules to establish routines, or implementing sensory-based strategies to decrease food aversions.

6. Collaborating with other professionals:

Occupational therapists often work as part of a multidisciplinary team, including dieticians, psychologists, and speech-language pathologists, to provide comprehensive care for individuals with ARFID. They can collaborate with these professionals to develop appropriate strategies and interventions based on the individual’s specific needs.

Overall, occupational therapy aims to help individuals with ARFID develop functional skills, manage anxiety, expand their food preferences, and improve their overall quality of life related to eating and food intake.

Services for children, adolescents and adults

We have occupational therapists who work with  children, adolescents and adults, and we have therapists who have experience with ARFID. Read more about our therapists here.

Occupational therapy assessments for ARFID

We are able to provide many types of occupational therapy assessments online, including Functional Capacity Assessments (FCA) and reports required for the NDIS. Please see this article for more information on assessments we can provide.

NDIS registered provider

We are a registered NDIS provider and work with self-managed, plan-managed and agency-managed clients.


If your are an NDIS provider or support coordinator we can provide reliable occupational therapy for clients with ARFID in any location. Refer a client and we’ll connect you to the right clinician.

Is online occupational therapy effective?

Yes! A growing body of evidence shows that online delivery of therapy can be as effective as face to face. Online therapy has many other benefits too, including being convenient and accessible for people in regional and rural areas.

How does online occupational therapy work?

At Umbo online therapy is not just zoom plus business-as-usual. It’s much more diverse than simply videoconferencing. Umbo therapists provide an individualised approach to each person, using the latest evidence, and a variety of technologies and engagement techniques.

Umbo champions person-centred therapy. It means the person and their family/support people leads the conversation. We believe that the most effective therapy occurs when support is given in the environment where the person lives, learns, works or plays. Therefore we work with the family, and teach skills to you or to other supporters. This means you’re achieving real-life goals, rather than just achieving goals in a clinic.

We are a certified social enterprise helping Australian families access allied health services.