Transitional Feeding

The Transitions Feeding Program is designed for children who have experienced feeding/swallowing difficulties, have demonstrated poor progress with outpatient services and/or may benefit from intensive inpatient admission. Our inpatient program provides intensive treatment and hands-on caregiver training.

The length of stay is individually determined by each child’s complex needs and the progress he or she demonstrates. In order to provide more comprehensive family education and carryover of therapeutic strategies, parents/caregivers are strongly encouraged to be active participants in daily therapy activities. Children participate in structured feedings throughout the day with parents, therapists and/or trained staff.

Inpatient Services Include:

  • Pre-admission screening by nurse liaison upon referral
  • Comprehensive interdisciplinary evaluation upon admission
  • Referrals for diagnostic studies as needed which may include: modified barium swallow studies, radiologic motility testing, allergy testing
  • A structured feeding program custom-tailored to your child’s needs
  • Developmentally-based, child-driven approach
  • Development of family-centered goals
  • Hands-on family and caregiver education and training
  • Feeding therapy with staff members who have advanced training and expertise in feeding techniques and strategies

Characteristics of a Feeding Disorder

We treat children with feeding disorders, gastrointestinal issues and congenital anomalies including, but not limited to:

  • Failure to thrive
  • Prematurity
  • Cleft lip and/or palate
  • Oral and/or pharyngeal dysphagia
  • Aversion to food textures
  • Food refusal (sensory or behavioral)
  • Difficulty advancing to age-appropriate food textures
  • Gagging, coughing or choking
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis
  • Short gut syndrome/Gastroeschesis
  • Gastro-esophageal reflux disorders
  • Children who have experienced multiple surgeries resulting in a feeding or swallowing disorder
  • Children who have not made adequate progress in outpatient programs

Feeding Therapy

Feeding therapy is coordinated with the patient’s family, referring physician and our inpatient multidisciplinary team. Feeding therapy, during mealtimes and/or non-mealtimes, may focus on some or all of the following:

  • Appropriate selection of child specific utensils for eating
  • Exploring the child’s sensory preferences for development of strategies to meet sensory needs
  • Teaching compensatory strategies to help families optimize their child’s feeding skills
  • Recommendations for optimal positioning to increase safety and efficiency while eating
  • Strengthening developmentally appropriate oral motor and swallowing skills
  • Diet modifications to ensure safety and advancement in textures, volume, and/or variety of foods accepted
  • Feeding team comprised of professionals trained in the Beckman Oral Motor Program, Vital Stim and SOS Approach to Feeding

Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit
2855 Schoenersville Rd.
Bethlehem, PA  18017

Phone: 610-807-4200

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