Pediatric Feeding / Swallowing

Pediatric Feeding / Swallowing

We specialize in providing compassionate and comprehensive support for Pediatric Swallowing & Feeding Disorders. We understand the unique challenges faced by children and their families when it comes to swallowing and feeding difficulties. Our team of highly skilled and experienced speech-language pathologists is dedicated to helping children overcome these challenges, ensuring they receive proper nutrition, develop healthy eating habits, and thrive in their overall growth and development. Through a family-centered approach, we tailor our evaluation and treatment plans to meet each child’s specific needs, considering their unique developmental stage and individualized goals. Using evidence-based techniques and a nurturing environment, we work closely with families to address feeding aversions, oral motor difficulties, sensory issues, and other related concerns. Our goal is to empower children to enjoy a positive and successful feeding experience, promoting their overall well-being and facilitating optimal development.

At Altruistic Therapy Services, we are committed to walking alongside you and your child on this transformative journey towards improved swallowing and feeding skills.

Learn About Pediatric Feeding / Swallowing

If your child is refusing to eat or only choosing to eat a very limited amount of food or drink, or they are exhibiting behaviors during meal time that are inappropriate for their age? Your child could have pediatric dysphagia.

Feeding disorders in children include difficulty gathering food, as well as getting ready to chew, suck, or swallow it. For example, your child may have a feeding disorder if he/she is unable to pick up food and get it to their mouth, or cannot completely close their lips to keep food from falling out.

If your child has pediatric dysphagia, s/he may be at risk for:

  • dehydration or poor nutrition
  • aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway) or penetration
  • pneumonia or repeated upper respiratory infections that can lead to chronic lung disease
  • embarrassment or isolation in social situations involving eating

Feeding Disorder Prevalence

Pediatric feeding disorders are common. 1 of every 4 children are reported to have some sort of feeding disorder. A smaller number have symptoms severe enough to cause big problems or need specific treatment. The rate of feeding disorders is much higher in children with developmental disabilities. As many as 8 of every 10 children with a disability has a feeding disorder.”

Symptoms of Pediatric Feeding / Swallowing Issues in Children

Arching or stiffening of the body during feeding

Coughing or gagging during meals

Difficulty breast feeding

Difficulty chewing

Gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality

Frequent spitting up or vomiting

Irritability or lack of alertness during feeding

Less than normal weight gain or growth

Difficulty coordinating breathing with eating and drinking

Excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose

Failure to accept different textures of food (e.g., only pureed foods or crunchy cereals)

Long feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)

Recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections

Refusing food or liquid

Causes of Pediatric Feeding / Swallowing Issues

For most children, there is not just one thing that causes a feeding disorder. Most often, it is a combination of factors. Things that can contribute to the development of a feeding disorder include:

Child temperament (easily over-stimulated, frustrated)

Pain or discomfort with feeding (reflux, allergy)

Negative experiences with feeding (coughing, vomiting or gagging)

Negative experiences related to the mouth (history of NG tubes, oral procedures, being on a ventilator, surgeries, being in the NICU for extended periods)

Slow emptying of the stomach from digestive issues

Poor oral motor skills (dysphagia, dyspraxia, dysarthria)

Low muscle tone or high muscle tone

Developmental delays

Developmental disabilities



Sensory differences (hypersensitivity to taste, smell, texture)

Chronic health problems (ear infections, frequent respiratory infections, dental problems, seizures)
Parent-child conflict or parental anxiety

Speech Therapy Evaluation

Speech Therapy Evaluation

Discover the power of effective communication by scheduling a Speech Therapy Evaluation and embark on a transformative journey towards improved speech and language skills.