What is the Pediatric Feeding Program at Seattle Children’s Autism Center?We assess and treat children age 1 to 13, with or without autism spectrum disorder, who struggle with eating and drinking in ways that either:
- Put their physical or emotional health at risk
- Lead to dependence on tube feedings or oral formulas
- Cause stress for you and your child at meals
- Understand your child’s unique feeding problems
- Understand how feeding problems affect your family
- Provide targeted treatment that leads to meaningful change
Who can the Pediatric Feeding Program help?We treat children with all types of complex feeding problems, such as those who:
- Eat or drink very little and do not gain weight or grow.
- Eat only certain food types or textures.
- Get some or all of their nutrition through a tube in their stomach, bowel or vein (G tube, J tube or NG tube).
- Struggle with the oral motor skills they need to chew, swallow, and eat or drink safely.
- Have sensitivities that make it hard for them to eat a wide range of food types and textures. For example, they might struggle with the way eating or drinking feels or with the taste, smell, texture, bite size or sight of food. They might seem afraid of food coming near their face or mouth.
- Learned that eating is unpleasant or difficult.
- Felt pain with eating due to a health problem, like gastroesophageal reflux or irritable bowel disease.
- Have severe anxiety about mealtimes linked with challenging behaviors. These may include refusing to come to the table for meals, not following directions during meals, having tantrums and being aggressive.
- Have a condition called “avoidant restrictive food intake disorder” (ARFID).