Southeastern Pennsylvania Autism Resource Center

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Feeding Evaluations and Treatment

Ages: 6 months through adulthood

Feeding evaluations and services are available to all individuals presenting with feeding challenges appropriate to an outpatient setting, regardless of diagnosis.

SPARC’s feeding disorders program addresses feeding challenges, including food refusal, food selectivity, and the transition from a gastrointestinal feeding tube through self-feeding.

Approximately 80 percent of individuals with developmental disabilities, and more than 45 percent of typically developing children, demonstrate feeding challenges. Children with medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux, food allergies and prematurity also are at risk for developing feeding challenges. The most common forms of feeding challenges include food refusal, food selectivity, texture selectivity and deficits in related skills (e.g., self-feeding, regulating bites).

The SPARC Difference: SPARC’s feeding program is the only program in the region to combine intensive clinic-based therapy with home- and community-based services. Generalization is a key component to SPARC’s feeding program to ensure that skills learned in the clinic, transfer to the home and school settings, as well as to other caregivers.

While intensive feeding programs typically require inpatient or full-day treatment, SPARC’s model is one hour per day in an outpatient treatment setting for an average of four weeks, depending upon the individual’s progress. With COVID-19 restrictions, we have conducted feeding treatment via telehealth since March with highly successful outcomes.