Feeding Therapy


It is important that your child eat enough to grow and be healthy, and the difference between a fussy eater and a child with a feeding disorder is the impact the eating behavior has on the child’s physical and mental health. There are many possible reasons why your child may not eat. He may have stomach or breathing problems, or his muscles may be weak. He may be very sensitive to how foods feel in his mouth. However, there may be no clear reason why your child refuses to eat.

If your child has a feeding and swallowing problem, s/he may:

  • Not eat or drink

  • Eat only a few types of food

  • Cough, gag, and/or choke when eating

  • Get food in his lungs, called aspiration

  • Throw tantrums or cry at mealtimes

  • Have ongoing vomiting problems

  • Not eat in specific situations


Who is at high risk?

Feeding disorders are already complex, but when a child also has a developmental disability, it is even more critical to work with a professional that understands the unique needs of the child. High risk populations include children with:

  • Nervous system disorders

    • Cerebral Palsy

    • Meningitis

    • Encephalopathy

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Heart disease

  • Cleft lip or palate

  • Gastrointestinal motility disorders

  • Prematurity/low birth weight

  • Food allergies

  • Behavioral management issues

  • Reflux

  • G-tube (or NG tube)


Scheduling Services

If you feel that you or your child may have a feeding problem, please call 423-669-6331 to schedule an evaluation with a speech-language pathologist.