Feeding Therapy Clinics & Programs
Some parents choose to travel to feeding programs across the country. These programs have all the necessary disciplines in-house, from GI to speech and behavioral psychology. Any needed testing or workup can be done in a timely fashion so as not to interrupt your child’s feeding therapy sessions.
If your child is medically fragile or needs to be closely monitored, these programs offer the advantage of an around-the-clock medical staff. These larger intensive feeding centers are also attractive because they often offer treatment for other issues during downtime, such as physical therapy for walking or speech therapy for proper enunciation.
Larger feeding programs consist of case managers who delegate the implementation of feeding protocols to secondary feeding therapists. While a competent case manager can take on numerous cases simultaneously, there are some drawbacks to using this approach.
1. There is always a disconnect when a person is making decisions from afar.
This adds a layer of difficulty in implementing the protocol that fully addresses all of the feeding problems in a given case.
Any changes within protocols need to be done not only systematically, but rapidly as well, because you don’t necessarily want the child to adapt to one condition. When the feeder doesn’t have the know-how to make the necessary changes, and the case manager doesn’t know exactly what is going on, there is more room for less than optimal treatment.
2. Follow-up is difficult.
The most important part of any feeding program is the follow-up. Your child has to not only maintain the eating at home, but also progress to being unidentifiable from a child who does not have a feeding disorder.
There are always going to be problems that come up once you transition a child away from a feeding program.