Feeding and Swallowing Disorders

What is Feeding and Swallowing Therapy?

Feeding and swallowing therapy utilizes strategies and techniques to support the rehabilitation/habilitation of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders focused on supporting growth, nutrition and hydration, the development of feeding activities with families, and ensuring safe swallowing with the aim of preventing choking and aspiration pneumonia.


of children with developmental disorders have feeding problems.

(Arvedson, 2008; Brackett, Arvedson, & Manno, 2006; Lefton-Greif, 2008; Manikam & Perman, 2008)


more likely for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to have feeding disorders compared with children who do not have ASD.

(Sharp et al., 2013)

Feeding and Swallowing Therapy Includes…

  • Support safe and adequate nutrition and hydration
  • Determine the optimum feeding methods and techniques to maximize swallowing safety and feeding efficiency
  • Collaborate with family to incorporate dietary preferences
  • Attain age-appropriate eating skills in the most normal setting and manner possible (i.e., eating meals with peers in the preschool, meal time with family)
  • Minimize the risk of pulmonary complications
  • Maximize the quality of life
  • Prevent future feeding issues with positive feeding-related experiences to the extent possible, given the child’s medical situation

Types of Feeding and Swallowing Disorders Include: