Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program

Providing Services For Children With Feeding Difficulties

Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program

Feeding is a basic developmental skill that is used every day to provide nourishment and hydration to one’s body. While this skill is second nature to most, it can be a difficult task for others - especially for children who are diagnosed with feeding difficulties.

The Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program offers a variety of services, including evaluation and an intensive feeding program, for children who are diagnosed with feeding difficulties. Your child must be evaluated in our clinic before receiving any other services within the feeding program.

To understand the best way to help your child, we bring together a coordinated team to meet his or her needs. Our team consists of medical providers, nurses, psychologists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, dietitians and social workers. 

Our Mission: The Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program strives to empower families, through collaboration, in order to improve meals, development and lives.

What are feeding difficulties?

Feeding difficulties is a broad term that encompasses many different causes for a child not meeting their nutrition and hydration goals. A feeding difficulty may be due to one or more problems. Many children have underlying diseases, disorders or anatomical differences that affect their feeding.

Some common conditions and challenges that result in feeding difficulties include:

  • Autism
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Cardiology diagnoses
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
  • Prematurity
  • Developmental delays
  • Difficulties chewing
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Difficulty gaining weight/malnutrition/failure to thrive
  • Exhibiting mealtime behaviors 

How do we get an appointment?

Patients must have a physician referral.

Contact your Primary Care doctor to have a referral faxed, along with a copy of your child’s growth chart and last office visit notes, to (614) 355-8694.

Once we receive the referral, we will mail you a packet of paperwork. Please complete and mail or email this information to our clinic as soon as possible. You will be notified once your intake paperwork has been reviewed.

After the paperwork is received, we will call to schedule your child’s evaluation.

Intake Forms for Families 

Please mail paperwork back to the clinic or email completed forms to

Our Team

Our team consists of a variety of specialists including Pediatrics, Psychology, Social Work, Nursing, Clinical Nutrition, Occupational Therapy and Speech Therapy.

Meet Our Leadership

Robert Dempster

Robert M. Dempster

Rob Dempster, PhD, is a psychologist in the Pediatric Psychology Program at Nationwide Children's Hospital and a Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. He serves as program director for the Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program.

Our Services

Evaluation Clinic

The Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides a comprehensive assessment of children with feeding difficulties. The Evaluation Clinic provides basic feeding recommendations and coordinates appropriate follow up for your child.

Intensive Feeding Track

The Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program's Intensive Feeding Track is an intensive outpatient treatment option. It is for children with feeding difficulties who have tried traditional outpatient therapies and have not fully achieved their feeding goals.