Feeding Clinic - Easterseals

The Easterseals DuPage & Fox Valley Feeding Clinic offers a unique environment, which brings several disciplines together at one location so that our interdisciplinary 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.

Why Begin Here?

Easterseals’ multidisciplinary Feeding Clinic has helped thousands of children over twenty years and is a valuable resource for families within Easterseals and our communities. The clinic has weekly opportunities for medical and therapeutic focused feeding interventions. The Easterseals team includes a Pediatric Nutritionist (a registered dietitian), Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist, and a Social Worker.

This team of experts—all in one room or through tele-therapy—offer a collaborative, personalized and compassionate approach to treating challenges related to mealtimes, nutrition, eating and the gastrointestinal system. Parents leave that same day with plans to begin achieving their child's goals with individually-tailored 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: medical, nutrition, feeding skills and/or psycho-social dysfunction

How To Get Started

Contact our Clinical Admissions Coordinator at 630.282.2026 or at ahargrave@eastersealsdfvr.org for questions or to schedule an appointment for a feeding clinic evaluation with our team.

The Feeding Clinic is held weekly 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 service coordinators, therapists or other health care professionals.

For more detailed information on criteria for the program and our team of experts, read our blog with detailed information on evaluations.

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 Therapy & Nutrition Clinic page.

For children on the Autism spectrum, experts agree that early childhood intervention leads to positive outcomes. New guidelines released by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) 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 AAP are provided by our Medical Diagnostic Clinic and Autism Diagnostic Clinic.

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