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Feeding and Swallowing Clinic

Our clinic focuses on children with complex medical needs, nutritional issues, and safety with oral feeding. Our philosophy is family-centered care.  We strive to provide the best care possible.

Care We Provide

Consultation and assessment of pediatric feeding and swallowing issues.

What to Bring

  • Your child’s Health Card. The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care requires us to validate your health card at every clinic visit.
  • Any relevant test results or assessment reports available from other institutions.
  • Any notes or questions that you may have.
  • List of current medications (name and dosages).
  • A typical meal.
  • A variety of foods with different textures, foods that your child does well with and those that cause difficulty.
  • Things your child usually uses during meal times: bottles, cups, spoons, nipples.
  • Any special seating or wheelchair your child uses. The clinic does have a regular highchair with reclined position available.
  • Please bring 3 days of solid food and liquid records.
  • Please bring enough food/drink and play entertainment as it is anticipated that your visit may take up to two hours.

When you arrive, please check-in at the reception desk. The Business Clerk will register you in the electronic system so that your team will know that you have arrived.

Note: If your child is unwell or has a communicable disease such as Chicken Pox or has been in contact with someone with Chicken Pox, please call the clinic before you come to the hospital.

What to Expect

During your first appointment you can expect to:

  • Meet the nurse, occupational therapist, dietitian and/or pediatric gastroenterologist
  • Review your child’s feeding and swallowing problems in the context of your child’s overall health and medical needs
  • Discuss your concerns and receive support
  • Feed your child, if appropriate, so that the occupational therapist can watch and learn about your child’s difficulties
  • Discuss the assessment and plan for further evaluation if needed
  • Make a plan to address your child’s specific needs around feeding

Your child may be sent for additional testing after your initial appointment with the FAST clinic. For example, an abdominal x-ray or blood work may be ordered and can be completed on the day of your visit. Other tests need to be booked at a later date.

Please note: your child may need a swallow study. This is a videotaped x-ray of your child’s feeding and swallowing. These studies are done on Thursdays in the Diagnostic Imaging Department, second floor by the yellow elevators. Your child WILL NOT be having a swallow study at their initial assessment with the FAST clinic. If deemed appropriate and necessary, it would then be booked for a later date.

Team Members

Our team includes physicians (pediatric gastroenterologist), registered dietitian, nurse, and occupational therapist/clinic coordinator.

Referral Process

Referrals can be faxed directly to the clinic as noted on the referral form. All referrals need to be signed by a physician.

All referrals are reviewed by the clinic coordinator/occupational therapist and prioritized with input from the team. The goal is to see all patients as a multidisciplinary team.

Please note that the FAST clinic has a specific referral form that prompts you to fill out important details to assist us in booking the appointment.

Urgent Referrals: The clinics are not for emergencies. If your child needs to be seen on an urgent basis, please contact your family doctor or go to your local emergency department.