Pediatric Feeding & Swallowing/Nutritional Therapy
Our Children’s Specialty Hospital offers a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach for evaluation and treatment of feeding and swallowing disorders. Our feeding clinic at LifeScape can help identify the specific challenges your child maybe having with feeding and offer a wide variety of program options to meet the unique needs of your child.
- South Dakota’s first and only speech-language pathologist who is board-certified in swallowing and swallowing disorders
- Multi-disciplinary approach
- A variety of program options specifically focused on difficulties with feeding and swallowing
Our team can help patients who have difficulty with any of the following:
- Transitioning from tube to oral feeding
- Bottling skills
- Consistent mealtime acceptance
- Weight gain
- Behavioral challenges during mealtimes
- Food variety
- Oral motor skills for feeding and swallowing
- Developmental skills for feeding-self feeding, cup and utensil use
We also provide caregiver training for carryover into the home setting.
The types of professionals involved will vary depending on your child’s unique needs:
- Speech-language pathologists, including the state's only certified clinician in swallowing and swallowing disorders
- Occupational therapists
- Consulting GI specialist
- Pediatric nurse
Q: What does a typical schedule look like with intensive day program?
A: 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.
Q: How long is the program?
A: 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.
Q: What is the responsibility of the parents/family?
A: 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.
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 AbleKids in Sioux City, IA; 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 at LifeScape 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 2-3 week program is recommended for children with severe feeding difficulties (feeding tube dependence, malnutrition total food refusal) who may have higher medical needs or a need for close monitoring by medical professionals. May 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.