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.
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: Accepted 28 Feb 2007 , Received 10 Apr 2006 , Revised 13 Sep 2006
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools April 2008, Vol.39, 249-260. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/024)
History: Accepted 28 Feb 2007 , Received 10 Apr 2006 , Revised 13 Sep 2006

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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