Feeding Clinic – Nick’s Story
Nick entered the clinic having been tube fed since he was five months old because his difficulty swallowing safely. At five months old, Nick’s formula would go to his lungs because of his swallowing issues and other delays that made it difficult for him to develop the muscle strength and coordination. The lack of development of strength and coordination made it impossible to chew solid foods safely.
At age four, Nick had only tolerated a small taste of yogurt occasionally. He was unable to participate in lunch and snack time activities with his peers in his preschool classroom. Alisha Delgado, Feeding Clinic Coordinator, started by provided focused treatment for Nick. In addition to working with Nick in the clinic, she coached his family on how and what to offer outside of his treatment sessions. Teamwork was key to support Nick in learning to no longer fear food while gaining motor strength and coordination he needed to safely drink liquids and chew solid foods.
“The team approach is vital to the success of any child coming into the feeding clinic,” said Delgado. “When Nick entered the clinic he could barely lick a spoon with yogurt on it. When he graduated, he was eating regular lunch meals along side his classmates at school and enjoying meal time at home with his family.”
Nick’s mom was excited the first time she was able to buy him a hot dog at the ball park. He happily devoured the hot dog while watching his siblings play ball. At exit, Nick’s favorite foods were pizza, bread, hamburgers, spaghetti and waffles. Two years of intensive treatment at the feeding clinic and Nick no longer needs his feeding tube that he had depended on for nutrition since he was an infant.
“Nick’s graduation from the clinic was a glorious day,” said Delgado, “and one that Nick’s mom had shared she was always afraid to hope for!”
TARC’s Feeding Clinic – providing excellent service and supports to children and adults struggling with feeding
Listening to community concerns, TARC opened the doors of our feeding clinic the fall of 2013. A community plea for resources and supports for feeding issues for children over the age of three and adults resulted in TARC opening our unique feeding clinic with our interdisciplinary team. Our Feeding Clinic Team provides specialized evaluations and therapy for those with feeding and swallowing issues.
Our clinic focuses on the traditionally under-served populations of adults with intellectual disabilities and children over the age of three who struggle with eating and drinking. With over 55 years of experience, our interdisciplinary team is dedicated to providing excellent services and supports to those who struggle with feeding.
TARC’s feeding clinic has grown significantly since the doors opened. In 2014 the clinic billed 40 hours of services and has more than doubled billing more than 90 hours in 2016.