Feeding and Swallowing Program | Conditions We Treat

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Contact the Feeding and Swallowing Program

The Speech-Language Pathologists in the Feeding and Swallowing Program are highly trained and experienced in working with infants and children who have feeding and swallowing difficulties.  Below is a list of some of the areas that we specialize in:

  • Dysphagia, swallowing impairments, swallowing disorders
  • Feeding difficulties
  • Food aversion, oral aversion, food refusal, behavioral feeding issues
  • Oral hypersensitivity, gagging
  • Oral motor delay, oral motor disorders
  • Suck-swallow-breathe discoordination, sucking difficulties, breastfeeding difficulties, bottle feeding, newborn feeding, infant feeding
  • Introduction of solids, difficulty transitioning to solids, biting and chewing difficulties
  • Feeding equipment, bottles, nipples, baby food, spoons, cups, teething toys
  • Modified diets, thickened liquids, thickened fluids
  • Non-oral feeding, tube feeding, tube weaning
  • Oral stimulation, oral desensitization,
  • Tracheostomy, speaking valves
  • Clinical feeding evaluation, feeding assessment, swallow assessment
  • Modified Barium Swallow (MBS), Video Fluoroscopic Swallow Study (VFSS), Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing (FEES)

We address feeding and swallowing issues in children who have :



  • Low gestational age at birth
  • Respiratory disease
  • Broncho-Pulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  • Chronic Lung Disease (CLD)
  • Low birth weight
  • Comorbidities associated with prematurity

Respiratory and AeroDigestive disorders that can impact feeding and swallowing

  • Apnea of the newborn
  • Laryngomalacia, tracheomalacia, bronchomalacia
  • Laryngeal cleft
  • Reactive Airway Disease
  • Pneumonia/Bronchiolitis

Cardio-pulmonary disorders that can impact feeding and swallowing

  • Cyanotic heart defects, Acyanotic heart defects
  • Hypoplastic Left Heart syndrome
  • Cardiac disease
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD)
  • Ventricular Septal Defect (ASD)
  • Patient Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

Gastrointestinal and Growth Issues that can impact feeding and swallowing

  • Congenital diaphragmatic hernia
  • Food allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Esophageal strictures
  • Failure to thrive
  • Nectrotising EnteroColotis (NEC)
  • Gastroschesis
  • Hirshprung’s disease
  • Tracheo-Esophageal Fistula (TEF)
  • Esophageal Atresia (EA) and Long Gap Esophageal Atresia (LGEA)
  • Gastro-Esophageal Reflux (GER)
  • Food allergies and food intolerances
  • Eosinophillic Esophagitis (EE)
  • Omphalocele (does this belong here?)
  • Short Gut syndrome /Short Bowel syndrome

Neurological and Neuromuscular Disorders that can impact feeding and swallowing

  • Intra-Ventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
  • Peri-Ventricular Leukomalacia (PVL)
  • Hydrocephalus
  • Seizures
  • Epilepsy
  • Microcephaly
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Acquired Brain Injury (ABI)
  • Brain tumors
  • Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
  • Muscular Dystrophy (MD)
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Cerebral Palsy (CP)
  • Chiari malformation

Congenital abnormalities that can impact feeding and swallowing

  • Cleft lip, cleft palate
  • Pierre Robin sequence
  • Other cranio-facial syndromes
  • Moebius syndrome
  • Micrognathia

Medical treatments that may impact feeding and swallowing

  • Tube feeding (OG, NG, NJ, PEG, gastrostomy)
  • Respiratory support (e.g. ventilation, high-flow, CPAP, oxygen)
  • Tracheostomy, Naso-Pharyngeal (NP) airway
  • Some medications

Ingestional injuries (e.g. swallowing detergents or a battery)

Structural or Airway Complications

  • Laryngeal cleft
  • Tongue Tie
  • Chronic Tonsillitis
  • Vocal cord/vocal fold paralysis
  • Sub-glottic stenosis
  • Laryngomalacia
  • Tracheomalacia
  • Tracheostomy
  • Choanal atresia

Genetic Disorders that can impact Feeding and Swallowing

  • Down syndrome
  • CHARGE Association
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Prader Willi syndrome
  • Cornelia de Lange syndrome
  • 22q11 deletion (DiGeorge or VeloCardioFacial Syndrome)

Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

Behavioral feeding difficulties (e.g. food aversion)Please note this list is not exhaustive. 

Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337