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Feeding & Swallowing

Pediatric Feeding, Swallowing & Nutritional Therapy

Our Children’s Specialty Hospital offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to the evaluation and treatment of feeding and swallowing disorders. Our inpatient feeding clinic can help identify the specific challenges your child may be having with feeding and offer a wide variety of program options to meet their unique needs. Call or email us at (605) 444-9700 for details.

The LifeScape Advantage

Who We Serve

Our team can help patients who have difficulty with any of the following:

We also provide caregiver training for carryover into the home setting.

Our Feeding & Swallowing Team

The types of professionals involved will vary depending on your child’s unique needs:

Frequently-Asked Questions

It depends on the patient’s needs, but an example of a schedule would be three to five sessions a day for 30 to 45 minutes per session.

This also varies according to patient needs and goals, but typically lasts two to five weeks. A weekly conference is held with the family to discuss progress and next steps.

To support your child by completing home programming that is recommended by the therapists, as well as to be an active participant in therapy sessions and feeding in general.

We Know How to Help

Our therapists have advanced training in a wide variety of therapy approaches to feeding. Our team assesses multiple areas, including oral motor skills, sensory challenges, self-feeding skills, behavior, motivation levels, and the environment. With this, our clinicians establish a comprehensive treatment plan that recognizes the root of the problem, achieves results, and leads to happier, healthier families. Whether your child is a picky eater, has aversions to entire food groups, or is tube-fed and you’d like them to be weaned to eat and drink regular food, we know how to help. Have concerns? Call (605) 444-9778 for a Free Feeding Screening today!

Treatment Options:

Outpatient Program

Recommended for patients who have feeding and swallowing difficulties that can be managed and treated with a frequency of one to three therapy treatments per week. Many patients begin here and transition to a more intensive program. Outpatient feeding therapy is available at LifeScape in Rapid City, SD and three locations in Sioux Falls – at our Rehabilitation Center, Autism & Child Development Center, and Children’s Specialty Hospital.

Intensive Day Program

This 2-4 week program at Children’s Specialty Hospital is recommended for patients who may not need round-the-clock medical attention, but have feeding difficulties that are severe enough to warrant high-frequency therapy. Speech and occupational therapy sessions will take place three to four times a day, five days a week. The patient has a room in the specialty hospital to use as a base between therapy sessions for the duration of his/her treatment.

Intensive Inpatient Program

This 2-8 week program is recommended for children with severe feeding difficulties (feeding tube dependence, malnutrition, or total food refusal) who may have higher medical needs or a need for close monitoring by medical professionals. It may also be recommended for patients who are ready for tube weaning or have trialed outpatient therapy with little success. This program involves evaluation and monitoring by a gastrointestinal physician as well as oversight by a pediatrician. Private and semi-private rooms at Children’s Specialty Hospital at LifeScape can accommodate a parent or guardian who wishes to stay with their child.

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