Center for Airway Disorders | Patient Resources

Your visit to the Center for Airway Disorders

Before your visit

We may ask that you send us your child’s medical records or other relevant information before your first visit with us. These can be faxed to us at 617-730-0337.

During your visit

Our team approach means that you and your child will meet with specialists from several different disciplines, typically during just one visit. These may include otolaryngologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, speech language therapists, and physician assistants. We will perform a thorough physical examination and take a detailed history. Your child’s visit may also include tests such as an endoscopic evaluation, feeding evaluation, or both. Depending on the length of these procedures, you should expect to spend 60 to 90 minutes with us for the appointment.

Tests we may recommend

Depending on your child’s unique situation, we may recommend certain tests. These may include the following.

  • Clinic feeding evaluation. If necessary, you may meet with one of our speech language pathologists, who specialize in feeding and swallowing. If you are notified in advance that you are scheduled to meet with a member of our feeding team, please be sure to have your child’s milk or formula and preferred bottle or cup available. Refrain from feeding your child one to two hours prior to your appointment to ensure that we can conduct a feeding evaluation.
  • X-ray. An x-ray is a picture taken of your child’s bones and organs by a large camera that uses small amounts of radiation to take pictures of the inside of their body.
  • Modified barium swallow study. This test can help clinicians determine whether your child is aspirating, or inhaling food or liquid into their lungs. It uses a radio-opaque substance called barium to coat the food or liquid your child will consume, which causes it to light up as images on the fluoroscopy machine as it passes from the mouth through the esophagus.
  • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). This test allows clinicians to evaluate your child’s ability to eat and swallow. The goal of FEES is to determine the safest way for your child to take food and liquid and to help your clinicians make a more informed plan for treatment.

Patient resources

We recommend a variety of internal and external resources for patients in the Center for Airway Disorders and their families.

Internal programs and resources

  • The Family-to-Family Program is a program within the center that offers families support by connecting them with other families that have experienced pediatric stroke. For more information, please call 617-919-1419.
  • The Family Advisory Council is composed of parents of current and former patients who are dedicated to enhancing the center by providing their valuable experiences, knowledge, and expertise to other families.
  • The Hale Family Center for Families is dedicated to supporting families through their time at Boston Children’s. The center provides information for families on questions they may have about diagnoses, community resources, or hospital resources. For more information, please call 617-355-6279.
  • The Social Work Department at Boston Children’s is made up of a variety of professionals and programs dedicated to integrating the social and psychological needs of patients and families with their health care. Social workers, resource specialists, and advocates form a network that addresses the challenges families face, increases accessibility to health care and other human services, and serves as a bridge between the hospital setting and a patient's family life, home, and community.

Get detailed information about visiting Boston Children’s and other resources available for families.

Educational resources

The following Boston Children’s downloadable materials may be helpful in understanding the tests and treatments your child may require:

  • Your Visit to the FEES Clinic (coloring book)

External resources

Boston Children’s does not unreservedly endorse the information found on the websites listed; these are provided as a supportive resource for our families.