Feeding Therapy

Eating is number three on the list of the brain’s life-sustaining priorities, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. When children are not learning to eat, there may be underlying medical, oral-motor or sensory issues that explain such difficulties. PDC’s Integrated Feeding Program investigates possible reasons for the interruption in feeding development. Some indicators of feeding issues include:

  • Infant who cries and/or arches during most meals
  • Difficulty latching or nipple pain
  • Audible clicking during nursing
  • Inability to drink from a cup by 16 months of age
  • Inability to wean off of baby foods by 16 months of age
  • Persistently poor weight gain
  • Aversion to, or avoidance of, all foods of a specific texture or in a nutrition group
  • Variety of foods is less than 20 items
  • Consistently eats a different meal than the rest of the family
  • Difficulty chewing and swallowing foods – stuffs, holds, coughs, gags, chokes
  • Has rigid “rules” around foods
  • Meals are not enjoyable occasions
baby lies down, an adult has a hand on their chest. child handing a to someone

Have you seen, or do you see now, any of these “red flags” in your child? If so, it is important for your child to be evaluated.

At the Pediatric Development Center, an interdisciplinary team of feeding specialists evaluates every child.

INFANTS: When nursing is painful and difficult, the situation can be scary and frustrating for new parents. The therapists at PDC work closely with parents, lactation consultants, pediatricians and other members of the medical team to ensure successful feeding skills from the start. We will also assist you with nursing, bottle-feeding and transitioning to new textures.

TODDLERS, PRESCHOOLERS AND SCHOOL-AGERS: The Integrated Feeding Program is an age-appropriate, nurturing, play-based approach that helps children gradually learn how to explore and enjoy a variety of foods. The integrated feeding program begins with a comprehensive feeding evaluation. Children may then receive therapy in individual or group sessions, depending upon which approach the team decides is the best course of action. We work closely with parents to ensure that their child is generalizing skills to mealtimes at home.

"Like many children, my son has had food allergies, GI conditions and eating issues secondary to sensory processing problems since he's been an infant, resulting in a very limited and unbalanced diet. Since we started working with the fun, creative and incredibly patient staff at PDC's play based feeding program we've been able to turn things around. My son's diet now includes additional sources of protein, fruit and fiber and we could not be happier! We are truly grateful to PDC for providing a locally based, convenient opportunity and for our therapist and son's OT feeding coach at PDC for making this happen! We're looking forward to continue working with them! Thank you PDC! "


Does it feel like mealtimes are an everyday battle in your home?

Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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We are participating provider with BlueCross Blue Shield, Maryland Medicaid, and United Healthcare. We are non-par providers for Cigna, Aetna and Humana/Tricare, and Kaiser Permanente. PDC offers assistance to our clients with non-par insurance companies access their medical benefits.


15850 Crabbs Branch Way #150
Rockville, MD 20855
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12520 Prosperity Drive, Suite 210
Silver Spring, MD 20904
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