Screen The Peds To Feed The Peds

pediatric feeding screening

So you’ve got a pediatric speech/articulation evaluation coming up, and the parent included on your intake form that the child has a limited range of foods they will eat… 

Your feeding therapist senses are telling you that this should be investigated further! 

But, how do you broach the subject with the parent?

First of all, GOOD FOR YOU! Trust your gut instincts! 

You’re not alone in asking how to bring this up with the parents (I get this question often). Building rapport is one of the most important things you will do as a clinician, especially as a feeding therapist. A relationship of trust is imperative to success. 

The first thing you’ll want to do is review the intake form before the evaluation so you can plan accordingly for what needs to happen during the evaluation. You will also want to hold space for the parent to share their concerns during the evaluation, even if you are not assessing feeding further at that particular time. 

During the evaluation appointment, even if they are seeing you for other concerns (e.g., speech/articulation), you can use this time to clarify what the parent filled out on the intake form. Ask open ended questions and leave space for them to answer. For example, I see that you checked the box that says your child eats a limited number of foods, can you tell me more about that? 

You may ask further questions about the child’s food repertoire, what meal times are like for the child/family, and get a general idea of the child’s current feeding skills by referencing other items the parent may have checked off on your intake.

If your antennas are going up and you note some concerns over what the parent shared, suggest a FREE quick feeding screening that you can provide alongside the speech evaluation to rule out and/or identify a need for further feeding evaluation. 

The key here is to assure mom that it will be quick (just a few minutes), that it’s included at no additional cost, and that it’s designed to determine if further evaluation is necessary. Many oral motor skills necessary for articulation are needed for feeding as well. So, let’s not skip this step because the skills we are screening are foundational skills

Don’t have a feeding screener that is quick, easy, and effective at identifying problem areas? You’re in LUCK! We have the perfect thing for you AND we will be teaching you how to use it WITH a patient in an upcoming training! 

Download your feeding screener here: ​​

Sign up for our Free Training here: