PFD is not Rare

Published by Jaclyn Pederson, MHI Feeding Matters CEO on Jul 22, 2021

Dear Friends of Feeding Matters,

As I meet with people in the community, I hear “the feeding community is so small” from those who are well-aware of pediatric feeding disorder (PFD) or “how many have PFD, it must be a rare disorder right? from those who are just being introduced to PFD.  Neither of these are true. In fact, we all know someone personally affected.

More than 1 in 37 children have PFD under the age of 5 in the US annually.  PFD is more prevalent than Autism and Cerebral Palsy. Families feel alone. Healthcare professionals need education. PFD needs more awareness.

I have been with Feeding Matters in various roles for over 8 years. Looking back at the work we were doing when I started with the organization in 2013, I can see that things looked so different for us then. It is easy to forget how far this organization has come. From our beginning, we were supporting families through our Power of Two program and providing information and resources on our website, but we continued to run into the barriers that existed – no one taking this issue seriously.  Now I think of the work of this whole community and what it is like for us today. We have come a long way. In the last few months, we had a successful conference, an exciting PFD awareness month, and are preparing for when PFD officially becomes a stand-alone diagnosis in the US in Oct 2021.

Now, those barriers still exist but we continue to chip away at a very large mountain. One day, I’ll be meeting with people in the community, and they will not meet me with the word “rare”.  Soon, the general public will know about Feeding Matters and PFD.  Thank you for your support and partnership in this work.

Best wishes,

Jaclyn Pederson, MHI