The Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley Feeding Clinic offers a unique environment, which brings several disciplines together at one location so that our multidisciplinary team can comprehensively evaluate each child. With the participation of the child and family, the team discusses the child's feeding-related challenges, creates goals for improved experiences, and works with the parents and ongoing therapists to develop a treatment plan that supports the child and their healthy development.
Nearly 90% of children with special health care needs are at risk for some type of nutrition-related problem. The inability to safely and easily consume food orally and process this through the digestive tract, are two of the most common challenges seen in this unique population.
The Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley Feeding Clinic, founded in August 2000, is one of the few comprehensive feeding clinics in the Chicago area and collaborates with R. Charles Dumont, MD of the Raby Institute for Integrative Medicine at Northwestern. The interdisciplinary team consists of our pediatric gastroenterologist, pediatric nutritionist (a registered dietitian), licensed speech-language pathologists, and a parent liaison.
This team of experts—all in one room at one time—offers a collaborative, personalized and compassionate approach to treating challenges related to nutrition, eating and the gastrointestinal system. Parents leave that same day with plans to begin achieving their child's goals with individually-tailored feeding therapy.
Disorder-related feeding difficulties all contribute to the challenge of obtaining optimal nutrition that provides for the growth, development and long-term health of a child. Children who benefit from the Feeding Clinic may have any of the following conditions:
Developmental delay or disability; specific diagnoses
Chronic diseases or syndromes
Neurological, respiratory, and metabolic disorders
Sensory-related conditions or Autism Spectrum
Congenital anomalies or growth disorders
Disorders of oral motor structure or development
Abnormal sucking, swallowing, breathing, eating patterns
Inappropriate weight gain or loss, failure to thrive, obesity
Food allergies, sensitivities and intolerance
Disorders of the gastrointestinal system and related systems, including constipation and diarrhea
Aspiration, vomiting, choking and/or gagging with feeding
Non-oral feeding, tube feeding, reliance on formula and supplements
PLEASE NOTE: Medical necessity for inclusion in our Feeding Clinic requires that a child has concerns in the three following areas: nutrition, feeding and gastroenterology.
Contact our Intake Coordinator at 630.261.6213 or firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions or schedule an appointment for a feeding evaluation.
The Feeding Clinic is held twice a month at our Villa Park Center and is open to families residing locally, nationally and internationally, including Canada, Mexico and Europe. Referrals can be made by parents, physicians, specialists, nurses, ongoing Early Intervention Services coordinators, therapists or other health care professionals.
For more detailed information on criteria for the program and our team of experts, read our Feeding Clinic blog post.
For parents of children with sensory difficulties, our Fun with Food program provides sensory-based feeding approaches in a socially supportive environment. Parents looking for a pediatric nutritionist or seeking assistance with nutrition therapy can also explore our Nutrition Clinic & Nutritional Therapy page.
For children on the Autism spectrum, experts agree that early childhood intervention leads to positive outcomes. New guidelines released by the American Pediatric Academy (APA) emphasize the importance of early screenings and diagnostic evaluations. Difficulties with feeding or nutrition can sometimes be an indicator of evolving needs and a more comprehensive evaluation may be useful in identifying next steps. All of the diagnostic screenings recommended by the APA are provided by our Medical Diagnostic Clinic and Autism Diagnostic Clinic.