Intensive Feeding Day Program

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Intensive Feeding Day Program

We offer an outpatient, 8-week Intensive Feeding Day Program that is designed to help children with moderate-severe feeding disorders develop functional feeding skills and improve their health and nutrition by providing intense feeding intervention.

The program focuses on a coordinated and integrated team approach consisting of speech pathologists, occupational therapists and you as parents, as well as collaborating with your child’s medical specialists including pediatrician, gastroenterologist, ENT, neurologist, dietician and ABA therapists.  We utilize a combination of sensory, oral motor, and behavioral approaches to maximize progress, and are individualized to your child’s needs.   Parents are part of the team process, helping to set and prioritize goals for the child and participate in therapy sessions as part of home carryover.

Commonly Asked Questions:

  1. Who qualifies for the Intensive Feeding Day Program?
  • Children with moderate-severe sensory, motor and behavioral feeding disorders
  • Children who have made limited to no gains in outpatient therapy
  • Children ages 12 months and older
  • Children at risk for feeding tube placement
  • Children weaning from feeding tube dependence
  • Children who have ongoing poor weight gain and nutrition which is affecting their health and development
  1. Do Intensive Feeding Programs really work? It is a big commitment.

We have a 100% success rate at building functional feeding skills for children in our Intensive Feeding Program.   The 2 month commitment is more than worth it, as children make faster and longer lasting gains in a shorter amount of time that generalize to home than compared to outpatient therapy.  Outpatient therapy can last for years with slow progress, and overtime is a financial burden and scheduling becomes difficult as your family’s commitments increase.

  1. What should I expect during my child’s evaluation?

Your child will receive a comprehensive 2-hour evaluation with our feeding team (speech pathologist and occupational therapist), allowing us to collect a detailed birth, medical, developmental, nutritional, and feeding history.  Then, our occupational therapist will assess your child’s sensory processing skills, postural stability, fine motor skills, and self feeding skills, as well as primary neuro-motor reflex development.  Our feeding therapist will assess your child’s oral motor skills, oral sensory processing and behavioral response with both preferred and non-preferred foods.  Treatment approaches will be trailed to determine what works best for your child.   You will be asked to bring a preferred and non-preferred food to the evaluation, as well as any feeding utensils used at home.  After the evaluation, the therapists will discuss if your child would benefit most from our Intensive Day Program or Outpatient therapy, as well as scheduling and if authorization from insurance is required.

  1. How many sessions will by child receive per day?

You child will receive 3 30-45 minute feeding therapy sessions per day and 1 60-min occupational therapy session per day, 5 days a week for 8-weeks.

  1. Do parents stay with their child all day?

We do require a parent, caregiver, teacher, or nanny etc. stay with the child while at the Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida.   We offer a separate play room with toys, bean bag chairs, lights that dim, and a television to relax in between sessions.  The surrounding area of Boca Raton also has a lot of family friendly activities nearby that you can take part in when enrolled in the program. Parents and caregivers play a vital role in their children’s progress.  During the final weeks of the program, parents and caregivers participate in parent training to ensure generalization to the home environment.

  1. Do I have to bring in food for my child every day?

The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida supplies foods for the children in the feeding program. However, you are welcome to bring foods from home and we can store them in your child’s specific bin during the program.  Please let your therapists know during the evaluation of any dietary restrictions, based on food allergies or religious beliefs.

  1. What if my child reaches all his/her goals before 8-weeks?

On average, the program lasts 8-weeks.  However, this can change depending on your child’s progress.  Other factors that impact the length of a child’s feeding program duration include insurance authorization, insurance visits per calendar year, and medical status.

  1. What accommodations are there for families traveling from out of town?

Boca Raton and surrounding areas have hotels that can provide accommodations for you and your family. We will be happy to assist you in finding the best location for your family.

  1. Will my insurance cover the Intensive Feeding Day Program?

Every insurance company is different. Our authorization department will assist you in determining the cost of the program based on your insurance benefits.  Co-pays and deductibles are not in our control.  You will receive a contract specific to the Intensive Feeding Program policies and estimated costs before starting the program.

  1. Who is part of your feeding team?

We have a team of speech pathologists (feeding specialists) and occupational therapists on site.  We collaborate with your child’s specific medical specialists throughout the program and make referrals when necessary.

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About Our Program

The Pediatric Feeding Institute of South Florida (PFISF) specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with various feeding and swallowing disorders using sensory, behavioral, and oral motor approaches as appropriate.  We are committed to implementing innovative methods to address complex feeding disorders to ensure positive outcomes that generalize to the natural environment and are long-lasting. We provide treatment for infants, children and adolescents with feeding and swallowing difficulties/disorders frequently associated with gastrointestinal disorders, food allergies/intolerances, prematurity, oral motor dysfunction, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, cleft lip/palate, failure to thrive, various syndromes, feeding tube dependance, sensory integration disorders, structural abnormalities (i.e. tongue tie) and cardio-respiratory conditions.

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