Getting to know each other
The way we first meet depends on your child’s situation. Your child’s primary care provider or another specialist within the Children’s Minnesota network may have referred you to us. Or you may have found us because you’re in search of new approaches for your child’s feeding concerns. Either way, our team is ready to help.
Preparing for a clinic visit
If your child’s care journey starts at the feeding clinic, knowing what to expect helps make the first visit less stressful. Depending on the child’s age, before the visit, talk about it with your child. With younger kids, it may also help to draw pictures (stick figures work just fine!). Or act out the upcoming visit with a stuffed animal as the patient.
To help us complete initial paperwork and concentrate on your child’s care, it’s best to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment. That way, we can zip through the registration and insurance process (remember to bring your insurance card and co-pay) and concentrate on what’s most important to us—talking with you and taking care of your child.
The first appointment lasts approximately 90 minutes, depending upon your child’s needs. Before your visit, we ask you to complete a diet history for your child, as well as an important questionnaire. We invite parents, school therapists, home health care nurses and day care providers to attend the appointment.
Helpful documents for your visit:
- Complete the New Patient Packet
- What is your child currently eating? Fill out this food checklist to let your therapist know.
- Record what you child is eating with this food record.
Comprehensive considerations for complete care
All children referred to the feeding clinic will be screened for development and given a comprehensive evaluation of oral function, nutrition, and feeding behaviors. Children with physical limitations will receive recommendations on proper positioning devices and adaptive equipment to help with oral feedings.
The clinic has a multidisciplinary approach, which means all aspects of your child’s feeding issues are considered. During the visit, our team examines the following areas and explains each of them to parents during the clinical evaluation:
- Oral motor function
- Sensory areas
- Family/caregiver interaction
- Nutritional status
- Motor development
- Review of health since birth
- Present feeding methods
- Follow-up and suggestions for help with any major health issues
If diagnostic imaging is needed either before or after the evaluation, these tests are coordinated for you by our nurse practitioner or therapists.
We engage parents and caregivers in solutions. Your evaluation may result in recommendations that include behavioral adjustments, new feeding techniques, referral to other specialists or ongoing feeding therapy support. Whatever the case, our team will assist you with follow-up management as appropriate.