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Children's Specialized Hospital Comprehensive Feeding Program

Frequently Asked Questions

The Family Advisory Council at Children’s Specialized Hospital is dedicated to
collaborating with Hospital leadership and staff -- empowering families to
provide valuable input toward improving organizational policies and practices.
The Council has created the information below to assist in
preparing for your visit.
 
Feeding Team Evaluation:
Questions Often Asked By Our Families

WHAT IS A FEEDING TEAM EVALUATION ALL ABOUT?
Q: Why is my child having a Feeding Team evaluation?
A: Your pediatrician or another health care professional may have referred you for a comprehensive
feeding evaluation to have all aspects of your child’s feeding experience evaluated. The
Comprehensive Feeding Program promotes a positive experience for children and their families while
fostering the progression of developmental feeding milestones.
 
WHAT CAN I EXPECT DURING MY VISIT?
Q: What will happen during the evaluation?
A: The Feeding Team will obtain information regarding your child’s medical history, feeding history,
developmental milestones and areas of concern from you and your child. They will review the intake
packet that was sent home for you to complete. The Team will ask you and your child to eat
preferred and non-preferred foods, simulating a typical meal at home, and oversee the
interaction between you and your child from behind a one-way mirror.
 
Q: Who are the members of the Feeding Team that will be present during the evaluation?
The Team consists of a Speech Language Pathologist, an Occupational Therapist, a Psychologist
and a Nutritionist. They will work closely with you and your family to understand your concerns for
your child, and partner with you to develop goals and a treatment plan to accomplish those goals.
 
Speech Language Pathologist - evaluates your child’s ability to swallow, eat, drink, understand
common words, and follow directions.
 
Occupational Therapist – evaluates a child’s oral motor skills and sensory processing.
 
Psychologist - observes potential emotional or behavior problems that are interfering with the
feeding process.
 
Nutritionist – reviews the child’s current food intake and nutritional needs.
 
Q: Will a medical doctor be involved in the evaluation?
A: A medical doctor may possibly be involved to ensure that the child’s health is not a concern. The
doctor may meet with you and your child either before of after the meal, depending on the site in which the appointment was scheduled.
 
Q: How long will the evaluation take?
A: Depending on your child’s age, the evaluation may take up to two and a half hours.
 
Q: Will there be time to discuss the findings? If therapy is recommended, how long will my
child need services?
A: The Team will discuss the initial findings with you at the end of the evaluation. Together, with the
evaluators, you will discuss the areas for improvement and strategies for home, how long your child
will need therapy, the plan of care and therapy goals.
 
Q: What is the family’s role during the evaluation?
A: Family involvement during the evaluation varies for each individual child. Typically, the team will
want to observe your child’s usual behaviors.
 
Q: When will I get a report?
A: You should receive a written report from each discipline by mail within 3 weeks.
 
WHAT CAN I DO TO BEST PREPARE FOR MY VISIT?
Q: What do I need to bring?
A: Please bring:
 
-It is necessary for you to bring preferred and non-preferred foods of varying textures and consistencies, so
the team may observe your child’s reaction to various types of sensory experiences.
-A current photo ID (license)
-Referral if needed
-Prescription
-School reports
-Prior evaluations
-Name/addresses of individuals you might want the report sent to
-Current list of medications
-Bring any equipment that your child regularly uses (forks, spoons, cups, glasses, hearing aid, etc)
 
Many parents also find it helpful to bring a list of questions to ask the therapist.
 
Q: Should my child eat prior to the evaluation?
A: Depending on the time of day of the evaluation, we suggest that you refrain from any full size
meals prior to the evaluation. If the evaluation is in the morning, we ask that you limit your child’s
food intake beforehand. If the evaluation is at lunchtime, a lighter morning meal is preferred, and
you child’s "lunch" will be consumed at the site.
 
Q: What should my child wear?
A: Please have your child wear loose comfortable clothing and a pair of socks.
 
Q: Can I bring my other children?
A: If possible, it is recommended that siblings stay home so that the parent can give their undivided
attention during the evaluation. Understanding that childcare is sometimes difficult, when bringing
siblings, it may be helpful to bring another adult and activities to occupy the siblings during the
evaluation.
 
Will insurance pay for my visits?
Q: What if therapy is recommended, will my insurance pay for it?
A: Medical coverage will vary, but many health insurance plans cover our services. Please contact
your insurance company to verify if your plan offers a benefit for feeding therapy services, and if the
diagnosis you were given is covered under your policy. Many plans offer a benefit for feeding, but
often have a medical necessity clause -- meaning that some diagnoses are not a covered benefit, if
they are not deemed to be medically necessary. If therapy is recommended, our Patient Access
Service will obtain authorization for treatment. Once the treatment is approved, you will receive a
phone call from our scheduling department to schedule an appointment for treatment. There is a
wait list for after schooltherapy.
 
Contact Us
Jeannie Brooks
Director of Admissions
908-301-5461
jbrooks@childrens-specialized.org
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