UNC Pediatric Feeding Clinic
I received a question from a reader asking about how our clinic is organized and how the children are set up through the clinic. Awhile back, I wrote a post on how our clinic started, if interested in that post just go to the search button at the bottom of the screen and search feeding clinic development.
Philosophy: Our team uses a medical/nutritional, motor, and behavioral approach to pediatric feeding disorders. One of the unique aspects of our team is that we specialize in medical and nutritional management for our patients. While our therapeutic approach is behavioral in nature we do use oral motor and sensory techniques as well.
- Our clinic is staffed by three disciplines: pediatric GI, speech-pathology, and pediatric nutrition.
- We are a hospital based out-patient service and offer clinic 4 days a week in 2 locations.
- We have 36-40 appointments slots available each week.
- We have 9-10 slots for new patients and the rest are for return patients.
- Appointments slots are either 120 minutes or 90 minutes.
- We schedule 2 patients at a time and our team rotates through so that the child sees all 3 disciplines at each visit. Parents love that they can make 1 appointment and see everyone and that that we coordinate care. Sometimes we are in the room together, sometimes all in separate rooms. After seeing the child, we meet as a team to discuss intervention and follow-up.
- We need a physician referral to schedule an appointment. We typically have 4-8 week waiting list but we will add on emergency type patients such as infants or children who are losing weight.
- The initial visit is always 120 minutes.
- Most initial visits involve treating GI issues, addressing nutrition and growth concerns, making feeding recommendations, and referral needs.
- Typically, we see the child once a month as a team until it is not needed.
- Most of our kids are seen twice per month (once by the team, and once for individual therapy). Some children live too far away to come for regular feeding therapy, in those cases, we work with the local therapist.
- All the children receive a home program to practice techniques between visits.
- We see many children for second opinions.
- Our team has started offering parent support groups and a professional development group for local feeding therapists.
- We present at local and national conferences.
- We are participating in research with the UNC Feeding flock group.
- We have plans to start a feeding team blog.
- We have written grants to fund needs of the team such as IPADs, positioning equipment, travel to conferences, and food for our patients.
- We train MD, NP, SLP, and RD students in the clinic.