Feeding Therapy

Feeding disorders are problems with a range of eating activities that may or may not include problems with swallowing. Feeding disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Avoiding or restricting one’s food intake (avoidance/restrictive food intake disorder [ARFID]; American Psychiatric Association, 2016)
    • Refusing age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate foods or liquids
    • Accepting a restricted variety or quantity of foods or liquids
  • Displaying disruptive or inappropriate mealtime behaviors for developmental level
  • Failing to master self-feeding skills expected for developmental levels
  • Failing to use developmentally appropriate feeding devices and utensils
  • Experiencing less than optimal growth (Arvedson, 2008)

Our primary goal of feeding and swallowing intervention are to:

  • support safe and adequate nutrition and hydration
  • determine the optimum feeding methods and techniques to maximize swallowing safety and feeding efficiency;
  • collaborate with family to incorporate dietary preferences;
  • attain age-appropriate eating skills in the most normal setting and manner possible (i.e., eating meals with peers in the preschool, meal time with family);
  • minimize the risk of pulmonary complications;
  • maximize the quality of life; and
  • prevent future feeding issues with positive feeding-related experiences to the extent possible, given the child’s medical situation.