Feeding and Swallowing Program

Functional Feeding

Our Speech/Language Therapy department is instrumental in evaluating and treats children with functional feeding impairments. Our therapists help children with:

  • Electrical Stimulation/Vital Stim™
  • Behavioral Interventions
  • Oral motor for feeding and speech development
  • Sensory integration for functional feeding

For children who have difficulty eating, we often conduct a kid-friendly barium swallow study. Through it, a video x-ray is taken while the child is eating and/or drinking to determine the foods and liquids safest for the child to consume.

These studies are medically supervised and performed by a team that includes a speech language pathologist and radiology technician.


Through a technology called VitalStim, our therapists use neuromuscular electrical stimulation (“estim”) during therapeutic feeding and oral motor activities. This stimulation strengthens oral, facial and pharyngeal muscles, which in turn improves the child’s ability to swallow and eat. If a child is recommended for VitalStim™, treatment is typically recommended three times per week for eight to 12 weeks.

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