Feeding disorders are conditions in which an infant or child is unable or refuses to eat, or has difficulty eating, resulting in weight loss, malnutrition, lethargy, impaired intellectual and social-emotional development and growth retardation. In the most severe cases, children cease oral eating altogether, necessitating nasogastric or gastrostomy tube placement and feedings.
Feeding disorders develop from a combination of medical/physiological, developmental, behavioral and psychosocial factors. Our Feeding Disorders Program at Play Works is a multidisciplinary team consisting of:
- Registered Dietitians
- Occupational Therapists
- Speech/language Pathologists
Our pediatric therapists specialize in the evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding & swallowing disorders. Specialized training includes the SOS Approach to Feeding , Talk Tools, and the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol.
We are experienced treating children with:
- nervous system disorders (e.g., cerebral palsy)
- gastrointestinal conditions (e.g., reflux)
- prematurity and/or low birth weight
- cleft lip and/or palate
- muscle weakness in the face and neck
- multiple medical problems
- problems with parent-child interactions at meal times
Every child has different needs, but some goals may include:
- Increasing the types of food textures a child will eat
- Helping the child accept new kinds of foods
- Encouraging the child eat bigger amounts of foods
- Assisting children who are at risk for G-Tube placement, to increase food intake and prevent the child from needing to be tube-fed.
- Helping children who already have a G-Tube to increase oral food intake and decrease the need for tube feedings. (The long-term goal is to have the G-Tube removed.)
Feeding your child is emotional: It's about nurturing, bonding, love and responsibility as a parent. When feeding is challenging, it's stressful and impacts the entire family on a daily basis. Let our therapists guide you and your child through your child's individualized program.
photo, Sean O'Connor