Behavioral Treatment of Feeding Disorders Pediatric feeding carries with it the possibility of both medical and psychosocial difficulties. While normally developing youngsters typically progress through a series of developmental stages in feeding, there are those children who, for medical, developmental, or other reasons, fail to achieve adequate oral feeding. The estimates of incidence of ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2005
Behavioral Treatment of Feeding Disorders
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Elizabeth Fischer
    Feeding, Swallowing, and Nutrition Center at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin , Milwaukee, WI
  • Alan H. Silverman
    Feeding, Swallowing, and Nutrition Center at Children's Hospital of Wisconsin , Milwaukee, WI
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2005
Behavioral Treatment of Feeding Disorders
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2005, Vol. 14, 19-24. doi:10.1044/sasd14.3.19
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2005, Vol. 14, 19-24. doi:10.1044/sasd14.3.19
Pediatric feeding carries with it the possibility of both medical and psychosocial difficulties. While normally developing youngsters typically progress through a series of developmental stages in feeding, there are those children who, for medical, developmental, or other reasons, fail to achieve adequate oral feeding. The estimates of incidence of feeding problems in normally developing children range from 25–45% (Burklow, Phelps, Schultz, McConnell, & Rudolph, 1998;Linscheid, 1998), while children with developmental delays are known to be at even greater risk (Burklow et. al.; Schwarz, Corredor, Fisher-Medina, Cohen, & Rabino-witz, 2001) .
Classifications of feeding disorders have been variable, but frequent mention has been made of organic versus nonorganic feeding problems. Organic feeding problems have been conceptualized as those with underlying physiologic causes, while feeding problems related to such issues as environment, family dynamics, and/or psychopathology have been thought of as nonorganic in nature. More recent medical and psychological literature has acknowledged the necessity of taking a more complex approach to classification by examining the medical, anatomical, and behavioral components that often co-occur in children with feeding disorders (e.g., Burklow et al., 1998;Linscheid, 1998;Rudolph, 1994). Indeed, the complex medical and behavioral aspects of feeding disorders have been increasingly recognized. Budd and colleagues (1992)  found that two-thirds of children with feeding disorders in their study sample could be characterized as having both physiologic/developmental and behavioral characteristics. Thus, behavioral assessment and intervention in the area of feeding disorders have become important parts of overall treatment.
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