A feeding disorder occurs when an infant or child has difficulty eating or is refusing to eat. Feeding problems can be a result of underlying medical condition, or can be related to hidden sensory and/or behavioral issues. Symptoms of a feeding disorder may include: swallowing difficulty, refusing food or liquid, taking a long time to eat /drink, vomiting, choking, gagging, recurring pneumonia, less than normal weight gain and growth, failure to accept different textures of foods, arching or stiffening of the body during meals, gurgly/hoarse/breathy voice quality, behavioral problems during mealtimes, and very “picky” eating. We utilize a multi-disciplinary team approach that may involve a speech-language pathologist as well as an occupational therapist involved in treatment and evaluation.
What can I expect at a feeding and swallowing evaluation?
A feeding evaluation includes assessment of your child’s mouth and face muscles to determine his ability to eat, suck, chew and swallow, and to tolerate different textures without choking or having other problems. It may also include observing your child eating and drinking a variety of textures and consistencies.
What do I need to do before my child’s feeding evaluation?
Bring your child’s preferred bottle/cups/spoons as well as any formula they are receiving. Bring one or two types of foods (such as crunchy, creamy) your child is able to eat. Bring one or two types of food that your child has difficulty eating. Try to schedule feedings so that your child is hungry enough to eat several bites of various foods and drink from a few different bottles/cups. Be sure to bring any related medical information, assessment reports, or school reports with you to the evaluation appointment.