Evaluation Clinic

The Comprehensive Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides a comprehensive assessment of children with feeding difficulties.

During your child’s evaluation, members from multiple disciplines will rotate into the room to assess your child and observe what a typical meal looks like at home.

  • Your child’s evaluation will last approximately two hours.
  • A parent or legal guardian must be present for the entire appointment.

What to Bring

Please bring the following items for your child’s evaluation:

  • Two foods your child typically eats with no problems
  • 1-2 foods your child typically refuses to eat
  • Formula or supplements that your child drinks
  • Drinking device (bottle, cup)
  • Utensils (fork, spoon, etc.)
  • Optional toys/books to pass time

Evaluation Clinic Team

You can expect to see team members from the following disciplines during your child’s evaluation:

  • Clinical Dietitian: The dietitian will perform a nutrition assessment of your child by analyzing their feeding regimen, type and amount of foods, and food records you provide. For children that are tube fed, the dietitian will assess any changes that may be needed to enteral formula, feeding schedule, volume or administration. The dietitian will provide guidance to help your child receive adequate hydration and nutrition for their age.
  • Feeding Therapist (Occupational Therapist or Speech Language Pathologist): The feeding therapist will observe the feeding assessment to evaluate your child’s oral motor skills/positioning and identify any problem areas regarding the mechanics of oral feedings.
  • Physician: The physician reviews your child’s case and performs an examination for medical conditions that may influence the team’s recommendations.
  • Psychologist: The psychologist will observe the feeding assessment to look at behaviors associated with mealtime and ways to increase participation in meals. The psychologist can also provide information regarding general behavior management.
  • Social Worker: The social worker identifies resources and support for children and families. The social worker also helps families overcome barriers that could impact evaluation and treatment.

Once all team members have assessed your child, they will meet to determine a recommendation. You will talk with the team and receive written recommendations on the day of your child’s evaluation.