Transition From Tube to Oral Feeding in the School Setting Purpose A school-based treatment program for tube-fed children with medically complex conditions and food refusal was implemented to facilitate the children’s transition to oral feeding and advance their eating skills. Method The program combined educational and therapeutic goals. It was implemented in a regional public school for children ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   April 2008
Transition From Tube to Oral Feeding in the School Setting
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Laura S. McKirdy
    Lake Drive School, Mountain Lakes, NJ
  • Justine J. Sheppard
    Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Mary L. Osborne
    Lake Drive School, Mountain Lakes, NJ
  • Pamela Payne
    Lake Drive School, Mountain Lakes, NJ
  • Contact author: Laura McKirdy, Lake Drive School, 10 Lake Drive, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046. E-mail: lmckirdy@mtlakes.org.
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / School-Based Settings / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   April 2008
Transition From Tube to Oral Feeding in the School Setting
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2008, Vol. 39, 249-260. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/024)
History: Received April 10, 2006 , Revised September 13, 2006 , Accepted February 28, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2008, Vol. 39, 249-260. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/024)
History: Received April 10, 2006; Revised September 13, 2006; Accepted February 28, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose A school-based treatment program for tube-fed children with medically complex conditions and food refusal was implemented to facilitate the children’s transition to oral feeding and advance their eating skills.

Method The program combined educational and therapeutic goals. It was implemented in a regional public school for children with hearing impairments. A team approach was used. Collaboration with the student’s families, medical care providers, personal assistants, and classroom staff was maintained.

Results Detailed case reviews are provided for 2 of the children who completed the program at age 8;1 (years;months) and 7;8 after 29 and 26 months of treatment, respectively. At the end of the program, tube feeding was discontinued; the children were feeding themselves and taking medications orally. One child was using mature eating skills to eat an unrestricted diet; the other was eating a modified diet consisting of a full nutrient drink and limited smooth and lightly textured solids.

Conclusion Successful transition to oral feeding and advancement of developmental eating skills were accomplished in a school setting for long-term tube-fed children with medically complex conditions. The program included collaboration with family and medical personnel as well as integrated therapeutic and educational goals.

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