Feeding disorders are conditions in which an infant or child is unable or refuses to eat, or has difficulty eating, resulting in weight loss, malnutrition, lethargy, impaired intellectual and social-emotional development and growth retardation.
In the most severe cases, children cease oral eating altogether, necessitating nasogastric or gastrostomy tube placement and feedings.
Feeding disorders develop from a combination of medical/physiological, developmental, behavioral and psychosocial factors.
As many as 25% of children experience some type of feeding difficulty during infancy or early childhood. The incidence can be as high as 33% for children with developmental disabilities.
Our Feeding Disorders Program at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital for Rehabilitation is an interdisciplinary program involving physicians, as well as:
- Occupational therapists.
- Speech language therapists.
Patients are assessed by the team, which considers all major issues interfering with oral feeding, as well as the most pertinent needs, resources, and limitations of the child and the family.
Patients receive varying intensities of treatment depending on their needs from day hospital service to individual outpatient therapy sessions.
For more information, please contact our feeding specialists at 216.448.6024.