A Team Approach to Diagnosing and Treating Children with Feeding Difficulties

The Interdisciplinary Feeding Team, established in 1987, provides a team approach to assessment and management of your child’s feeding and swallowing difficulties. Under the medical direction of J. Paul Willging, MD, the team consists of pediatric experts across several disciplines.

The Interdisciplinary Feeding Team is a subset of the Aerodigestive Center, with focus on providing a coordinated evaluation and management plan for complex feeding, swallowing, nutrition and growth problems. We receive referrals from local, regional, national and international sources.

Problems with feeding and swallowing may occur because of certain medical conditions or physical problems that span the scope of several specialty services. Our team coordinates care to address the signs and symptoms of feeding disorders, including:

  • Limited or poor oral intake
  • Food refusal
  • Slow or inadequate weight gain
  • Problems tolerating tube feedings, gagging or retching associated with tube feeding
  • Suspected or known problems with airway protection and swallowing (aspiration); coughing, choking or gagging with intake
  • Sensory problems (reacts emotionally or aggressively to touch)
  • Lack of appetite
  • Oral motor or chewing difficulty
  • Oral sensitivity 
  • “Picky” eaters
  • Fear or anxiety related to eating

The initial team evaluation results in an individualized treatment plan for your child with recommendations for outpatient treatment and additional medical testing as appropriate. For children with significantly complex feeding issues, the treatment plan can involve care from several specialties. A full team report is sent to the referring provider following each patient visit.