What is a Feeding Disorder?

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What is a Feeding Disorder?

A child with a feeding disorder does not consume enough nutrients to provide them with adequate nutrition/hydration for normal growth and development. Feeding disorders affect 25-50% of typically developing children and 80% of children with developmental delays. A feeding disorder can be classified as a sensory, behavioral, and/or motor problem.

Causes of Feeding Disorders

There are various causes of pediatric feeding disorders. The disorder can be a result of medical, sensory, nutritional, behavioral, and/or environmental factors.

  • Medical: structural abnormalities, neurological problems, metabolic dysfunction, digestive disorders, cardio respiratory issues
  • Sensory: poor regulation/modulation caused by difficulty in the way the brain receives and processes information that comes through the senses (visual, olfactory, auditory, tactile, gustatory)
  • Nutritional: inadequate or excessive consumption of foods, developmentally inappropriate diet, unstructured meals
  • Behavioral/Psychological: gagging, choking, vomiting during and/or after meals, food refusal, crying during meals, emotionally and psychosocial based difficulties
  • Environmental: caregiver competence and/or poor interaction during meals, difficulty setting limits for the child

Does My Child Have A Feeding Disorder?

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Does My Child Need Feeding Therapy?

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Pediatric Feeding

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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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