Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Therapy

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Feeding & Swallowing Therapy

Making Eating & Drinking Easier for Kids


A Nemours therapist work with a child.

Nemours pediatric speech-language pathologists (also sometimes called "speech and language therapists”) evaluate, treat and provide consultations for children with feeding and swallowing challenges. We look at kids’ oral feeding skills, provide family education, and offer strategies to promote safe eating and drinking.

Conditions We Treat

Conditions We Treat


Our speech and language therapists are trained in managing kids’ communication and swallowing problems. Children might be candidates for feeding evaluation and therapy if they: 

  • actively refuse foods
  • display disruptive mealtime behaviors
  • eat a limited variety of foods 
  • gag, cough or vomit when eating 
  • gain weight slowly or have trouble gaining weight
  • have trouble chewing, swallowing food and/or transitioning to foods of different textures 
  • mostly take a bottle when sleeping
  • need tube feedings for nutrition

We see a full spectrum of conditions — far too many to list here. The conditions we treat vary depending upon the location and providers selected. Don’t see a condition listed? Call us.

Services We Offer

Services We Offer


Speech and language therapists are the first line of specialists to see children for problems with feeding and/or swallowing. Sometimes, occupational therapists (OTs) can help too. Depending on what we find, we may be able to diagnose and treat the condition. Services for diagnosis and treatment may include: 

  • comprehensive clinical evaluation, including a review of your child’s medical, developmental and feeding history
  • family education and training 
  • individualized treatment planning 
  • meal observation  
  • referral for additional assessment, if needed

Depending on each child’s condition, care may include specific studies and treatments such as: 

  • fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES) (when kids eat and drink while their feeding and swallowing skills are viewed through a flexible laryngoscope — a thin, flexible instrument that lights and magnifies images for a better view of the larynx/voice box and vocal cords)
  • modified barium swallow studies (MBSS) (when kids swallow a small amount of a chalky liquid, which appears on a special X-ray and shows the swallowing process as they eat and drink) 
  • neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) (using electrical stimulation with traditional swallowing therapy to strengthen muscles for swallowing)
Why Choose Us

Why Choose Us


At Nemours, your child benefits from a team approach to care that, depending on the condition diagnosed, may include board-certified pediatric surgeons, gastroenterologists, otolaryngologists (ear, nose and throat specialists), occupational therapists, nutritionists and psychologists — all specifically trained in child-friendly care. We work together to help kids:

  • accept mealtimes
  • develop age-appropriate feeding skills (like cup drinking and self-feeding)
  • gain weight if needed
  • increase the variety of foods they’ll eat
  • transition from tube to oral feeding

Learn More About Why to Choose Us »

Regional Feeding & Swallowing Therapy Services

Depending upon the location you visit, our comprehensive programs and services may include:

Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

Our speech and language therapists offer feeding and swallowing therapy at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children (Wilmington, Del.) and select Nemours duPont Pediatrics satellite locations.

  • only pediatric rehabilitation program in the greater Philadelphia region accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF)
  • new state-of-the-art Rehabilitation and Inpatient Therapy Center, with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) suite

Our occupational therapists (OTs) and speech and language therapists offer feeding and swallowing therapy at Nemours Children’s Hospital (Orlando).

  • one of only four multispecialty pediatric inpatient rehabilitation programs in all of Florida — and the only one in Central Florida
  • unique treatment settings, like our outdoor Discovery Garden that integrates therapy with healing, nature and sensory exploration
  • only pediatric rehabilitation program in the state of Florida located in a freestanding children’s hospital  
  • integration with world-class programs (brain and spinal cord injuries, diseases of the nervous system, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and muscular dystrophy)

Our speech and language therapists offer feeding and swallowing therapy at Nemours Children’s Specialty Care, Jacksonville and select satellite locations. Our services are provided through the Division of Otolaryngology (Ear, Nose & Throat/ENT) — a recognized leader in providing state-of-the-art ENT programs for kids.

  • Vital Stim® therapy (noninvasive stimulation therapy for swallowing disorders)
  • VPI (Velopharyngeal Insufficiency) Clinic (bringing together physicians and speech therapists to help kids with soft palate muscle problems) 
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Research & Clinical Trials

At Nemours, we’re actively researching new approaches for childhood disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

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KidsHealth Library

Learn more about your child’s medical condition from the experts at Nemours’ KidsHealth.