Feeding Disorders Program

The Feeding Disorders Program at the Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy provides evaluations and treatment for children, adolescents, and adults with feeding difficulties such as picky eating, self-feeding deficits, unstructured mealtimes or frequent snacking, and challenging behavior related to mealtimes.

Evaluation

A comprehensive evaluation in the Feeding Disorders Program involves a diagnostic interview and meal observation. During the interview, your therapist will review current eating practices, mealtime skills and behavior, changes in eating patterns, relevant medical history, and an extensive feeding history. A formal meal observation will be conducted at the subsequent session in order for the therapist to better understand what a typical meal looks like. A feedback session is conducted to discuss evaluation results, provide education, answer questions, and develop an individualized treatment plan. Further services (e.g. allergy testing or evaluation from an oral-motor therapist) may be recommended or required for some individuals.

Treatment

Clients will receive an individualized treatment plan specifically suited to meet their needs. Treatment is provided through an applied behavior analysis (ABA) framework, a research-supported approach to treating feeding disorders. Education about feeding difficulties is also provided. Common treatment goals include increasing food variety, increasing volume of food consumed, increasing independence during meals, decreasing food refusal behaviors, and decreasing meal duration. Treatment is designed to be short-term in nature, with the goal of providing individuals with the tools they need to continue to manage these difficulties independently once therapy has concluded.

A Team Approach

Addressing the feeding needs of some individuals is best accomplished using a multidisciplinary, team-based approach. Depending on your child’s needs, collaboration may be necessary with one or more of the following providers:

  • Physician: The primary role of a physician in treating feeding issues is to assess and treat any medical concerns that may impact feeding. Common examples include constipation, food allergies, or acid reflux.
  • Occupational therapist or speech therapist: These practitioners specialize in assessing and treating any physiological difficulties associated with feeding, such as oral-motor dysfunction or difficulties chewing and swallowing.

Are you considering treatment for feeding difficulties?

If you or your child is struggling with difficulties related to mealtimes, please feel free to contact us for more information about our program.