Feeding and Swallowing Program

woman feeding young child with a spoon

The region’s most comprehensive program for the treatment of feeding and swallowing disorders. 

Who Can Benefit

Treatment can help children who exhibit symptoms such as:

  • delays in oral motor skills, such as being unable to suck (drink) from a bottle or chew
  • sensory issues such as being unable to tolerate a texture or taste in the mouth
  • feeding and swallowing disorders associated with medical conditions, ranging in severity and cause from gastroesophageal reflux to organ transplantation
  • feeding and swallowing disorders associated with developmental disorders such as autism
  • significant social or behavioral problems that impact eating
  • being ready for the transition from dependency on IV (total parental nutrition or TPN) or tube feeding for nutrition but are ready to eat by mouth
  • lack of progression to eating an adequate number of foods of various textures and/or food groups

No matter what the cause, when infants and children have difficulty feeding and swallowing, it can create serious health problems.

Our First Step is Understanding

When a child comes to us with a feeding or swallowing issue, our first step is to evaluate his or her needs. That requires a team of experts, which may include:

Setting—and meeting—goals.

Our treatment plans are individualized, and so are our goals. These could include:

  • Weight gain and growth
  • Accepting food and drinks by mouth
  • Increasing the variety, volume and textures of food eaten
  • Chewing and managing a bite of food
  • Safe swallowing
  • Drinking from a bottle or a cup
  • Acquiring or improving self-feeding skills
  • Decreasing or eliminating tube feedings/TPN
  • Improving enjoyment of mealtime with parent, family and/or caregivers

The Outpatient Feeding and Swallowing Program

Through this program, the child can receive treatment once a week or multiple times a week based on initial recommendations formed at the evaluation at one of our facilities. We always invite parents to participate in therapy, which may include speech and language pathology, occupational therapy, and nutrition counseling.

Regardless of Program, Family is Part of our Team

We teach every family a variety of techniques and skills to help them manage their child’s eating in a step-by-step process. Family involvement and training is critical to treatment success. Prior to evaluation, the family is required to complete a Feeding Case History, which is reviewed and used by the team during each child’s evaluation. Each family is encouraged to actively participate in their child’s therapy sessions and is instructed on how to carry over treatment programs to the home. Family support continues through discharge planning, outpatient consultation and follow-up care. The team members may also collaborate with each child’s support services, including school therapists, teachers, home nurses, early intervention and/or wrap-around service providers.

Download printable information here:
        Feeding and Swallowing Program


Services Menu

More Information

News and Events

Like us on Facebook