At the Pediatric Center, we conduct diagnostic evaluations in speech, language and feeding to support the development and implementation of our therapeutic treatment programs. We emphasize the use language-directed play and structured language-based activities to enhance our children’s communications skills. Our speech therapists also provide our children with training in sign language and the use of augmentative systems.
For our tube-fed children, as well as our children who have other medical or behavioral-based feeding difficulties, our speech pathologists customize treatment plans to develop and improve/enhance their oral feeding skills.
Comprehensive Feeding Program
Our comprehensive feeding therapy program is a trans-disciplinary initiative developed to enhance oral intake and maximize independence at mealtimes. A neighborhood team consisting of a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, dietician, physician, nurse, psychologist, Child Life specialist and music therapist assess each child’s feeding abilities and potential, develop a feeding plan, educate caregivers and family members and foster a mealtime environment that improves quality of life and promotes feeding success. The comprehensive feeding therapy program addresses resident needs through individualized therapy as well as through feeding groups that have been developed around the goals of the program. These groups target: children with a “failure to thrive” diagnosis for full or partial weaning from tube feeding; infants who are not presently taking food by mouth, but who benefit from oral stimulation; and children who have developed sensory and behavioral issues around mealtime, including aversions to foods or utensils. Our feeding groups use traditional therapeutic interventions, as well as music therapy, to motivate children and create a positive eating and self-feeding experience.