Become a patient

The Feeding, Swallowing and Nutrition Program at Children's Wisconsin takes a truly individualized approach to treat every child.

Find more details on what to expect in your first appointment with our Feeding team, so you and your child are ready for your appointment by reviewing this infographic

For medical professionals considering referring a patient to our program: please see our referral guide to learn more about the conditions we treat, the referral process and more.

For patient families: While treatment plans vary, our team of specialists has developed a typical treatment path that will guide your child's care in our clinic. Learn more about what to expect from your first Feeding team appointment and the types of treatment paths below.

We will have your child's medical records sent to us, and your family will fill out informational forms prior to the first appointment. We like to hit the ground running when it comes to getting your child healthy, and that means gathering as much information as early in the process as possible.

Our team then makes an initial assessment based on the medical history provided. We determine what tests, if any, are necessary (such as blood work, radiology, endoscopy, etc.) and what initial treatments meet your child's needs. Our goal with this initial assessment is to help identify any potential medical issues that need to be addressed before moving forward with further evaluations, therapies or treatments.

If your family is traveling from out of state to visit our clinic, we may contact you by phone before this visit to gather additional information. This helps to ensure that the Feeding Program is the appropriate clinic for your child.

Your family arrives at our clinic and your child has his or her vitals recorded to ensure we have the most accurate information on file. This will also help to track progress during treatment.

Your family meets with the team nurse. A team member verifies all the medical information we have is up to date and addresses any preliminary questions you may have about the appointment.

Your family and child will meet with the dietician, speech language pathologist, psychologist and gastroenterologist all together to review goals.

The team will observe your child eat a meal. Afterwards, the team will provide their assessment and answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Our team compiles the assessment and determines the best path of care. This treatment plan will be highly individualized to your child, and may include components such as mealtime scheduling, medication and/or additional medical workup. For the safety and wellbeing of the child, if medical workup was recommended this would need to be completed before further therapies can be scheduled.

One of your team members will recap the meeting and review the plan with you and your family to ensure next steps are understood. A personalized letter is provided to you at the end of the visit which captures everything that was discussed.

Once the team has determined a treatment plan, it is time to work with your family to put your child’s plan into action.

You can learn more about the various treatment types below. During this time, your child will need the support and encouragement of his or her family the most. Change can be hard, especially for kids, so it is important for your child to understand that these changes are necessary for his or her health and happiness.

Frequently asked questions

When should I arrive?

Please arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment to fill out paperwork before meeting with our Feeding team.

How long will my appointment last?

If you have been referred or have established care with a gastroenterologist, your child will be scheduled for an initial visit with the Feeding team. Our team includes a gastroenterologist, a behavioral psychologist, a registered dietitian, a speech-language pathologist and a nurse. This appointment will last approximately two hours.

What does a follow-up appointment look like?

Follow-up appointments are dependent on the outcome of the initial assessment by the team. Based on the child’s individual needs, a combination of providers may be included in follow-up appointments. A recommendation and instructions for follow-up appointments will be provided after the initial assessment by the Feeding team.

Where does the Feeding team see patients for appointments?

Feeding patients are seen inside the Gastroenterology, Liver and Nutrition Clinic on the 4th floor of the Craig Yabuki Tower at Children's Wisconsin's main campus in Milwaukee.

Do other Children’s Wisconsin clinic locations offer feeding services?

At this time, the feeding clinic is at the Milwaukee campus location only.

What is the process of getting an appointment with Feeding team?

To get an appointment with the Feeding team, a family can self-refer to the program or a physician can refer a child to our team. Once a referral is received, the Feeding team will do an initial review to ensure that the child is appropriate to be seen by our Feeding Program. The family will be asked to complete a comprehensive packet that answers questions about medical history, feeding history, food preferences, and meal time practices. Once the packet is completed and sent back, the team will review and follow-up to schedule an initial appointment.

How long is the wait for an appointment?

The Feeding Program is a multidisciplinary team with a high demand for assessment and ongoing care for both local patients and children nationwide. Therefore, the current wait time for a new patient is approximately 4-6 months.

What goes on during these appointments?

During your initial appointment, the multi-disciplinary team will ask questions and observe the patient to develop an initial assessment of the patient’s current nutrition intake, eating habits, skills and behaviors. Our team will then debrief with the family to develop goals and a plan for next steps. The team will continue to monitor how the child is progressing during each follow-up appointment and will discuss the plan with the family and make revisions as necessary to ensure that the child is working towards their goals.

Will my insurance cover care provided by the Feeding Program? 

It is important for a family to check with their insurance provider to see what services are covered by their insurance. Here’s a list of insurance companies that cover Children’s Wisconsin.
*Please note that not all services provided may be covered and that’s why it’s important to have a conversation with your insurance provider.

How often will my child have to return for appointments?

All appointments are individualized to your child’s needs, so appointments can vary.

Make an appointment

To make an appointment, call our Central Scheduling team or request an appointment online.

(877) 607-5280

Request an appointment

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