Clinical Feeding Evaluations and Treatment;

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
  • autism
  • 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

Sarah McDonnell