When a child refuses food or has difficulty eating, it raises concerns for both family and physician. Because nutrition is vital to a child's health and development, the UMass Memorial Children's Medical Center in Worcester offers a multidisciplinary Pediatric Feeding Clinic, a team approach to the treatment of nutritional and feeding-related problems. Our goal is to work with the family to develop strategies to improve feeding skills and the nutritional status of the child, and to promote optimal health and well-being.
Infants and children with oral motor and other feeding problems are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. Patients have a wide range of issues that lead to difficulty eating from food aversions to serious medical problems. Medical conditions include:
- Congenital anomalies
- Cerebral palsy
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Seizure disorder
- Respiratory disorders
- Oral sensory impairment
The Feeding Clinic team assesses motor skills and other contributing factors, provides treatment options and recommends services to assist the family. Staff members observe and evaluate behavioral responses and environmental factors, which may affect the ability to eat and thrive.
Clinic visits consist of a parent interview, oral motor and feeding observation and evaluation, nutritional and growth assessment, and individualized program planning. Follow-up recommendations may include direct intervention, consultation with other service providers and, if needed, medical tests to further evaluate swallowing function.
For more information, call 774-443-7396