Ethan, Age 4

Location: California, United States

Challenges:Ethan was referred by gastro to get a swallowing test and he passed but they wouldn’t cover feeding therapy because the SLP wouldn’t work around his sensory or Visual impairment.

Formal PFD Diagnosis: Yes

Age of Formal PFD Diagnosis: At approximately 1 year old

Type of Insurance: Medi-cal

Percent of monthly budget that goes to feeding difficulties: A lot. We tried several formulas and plant based options

Does insurance cover any / all medical costs? No.


We have received several denials in receiving help with his PFD because of his visual impairment and sensory difficulties. He is able to swallow, but didn’t understand the mechanism of chewing. Therefore many specialists didn’t know how to help. It has been a long journey introducing purées and different types of formulas to feed him through his newborn bottle at the age of 3. It was as if we were standing still where we couldn’t progress. I introduced different textures with food and playing with it. We are so thankful for receiving this grant and this will allow him to achieve success in his PFD journey.
Ethan was born completely blind. We didn’t understand how this will hinder his ability to eat food. He latched perfectly, but as he was growing and the milestone of introducing purées, he was not welcoming it and he would refuse to open his mouth. It felt like we were stuck in time where for a long 3 years he wouldn’t eat any solids or purées. His OT helped him with sensory processing but he still wasn’t tolerating purées in his mouth.

What having coverage could mean

We just got the email acceptance letter to Napa Center, but the financial burden would be heavy. I received the call today that we were awarded funds and we are very grateful and appreciative and thankful and we are so happy that we can now confirm he will be going to Napa center. We are so excited how these funds will help him achieve success in his feeding journey. We will do anything for him and we are very thankful!!!