Feeding &
Swallowing Clinic

Feeding Solutions

ChildServe’s Feeding and Swallowing Clinic provides solutions for a variety of physical difficulties that affect children and infants. Our therapists apply training in multiple evidence-based approaches to teach children the sensory, oral motor, and social skills needed for feeding and swallowing development. Our team can help determine what may be causing your child’s feeding difficulties. Children may participate in feeding therapy as an individual or as part of a group.

Why choose ChildServe?

ChildServe’s interdisciplinary Feeding & Swallowing Clinic team has experience and expertise in caring for children and young adults.
Coordinated Care
Our team of specialists communicate effectively to provide coordinated care for each child we serve.
Advanced Technology
ChildServe offers state-of-the-art-facilities with top-of-the-line technology including the FEESSTFEESST stands for Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing with Sensory Testing. The FEESST is an alternative to the X-ray test of swallowing, which uses a specifically designed endoscope in order to assess both the sensory and motor parts of the swallow. , which allows us to evaluate the swallow.
Children and staff playing with flour for texture

Who We Serve

ChildServe’s Feeding and Swallowing Clinic offers services to children and young adults (age infant-21) with sensory and oral motor deficitsChildren with oral motor deficits may have a hard time moving and using their mouth for speaking, eating, chewing, blowing, or making specific sounds. as well as difficulty swallowing. Our team can help determine what may be causing your child’s feeding difficulties.

Our Approach

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We Know Kids

Our entire organization is built around kids! ChildServe’s pediatric specialists provide healthcare designed for the developmental needs of children and young adults. The pediatric experts in our Feeding and Swallowing Clinic have specialized knowledge and skills to assess and support children with a variety of feeding or nutrition concerns. Our facilities and equipment are designed to make kids comfortable, safe, and inspired.
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Skill Building

ChildServe’s specialists help children work toward the strengthening the mouth muscles, increasing tongue movement and improving chewing, biting, drinking, or sucking skills. Other goals commonly include learning to self-feed, decreasing textural aversionsChildren with textural aversions feel disgusted by the sensation of eating certain foods. Some children dislike all mushy foods, or dislike all crunchy foods. These dislikes are stronger than simply being “a picky eater,” and make it difficult for children to maintain a diet with adequate nutrition., improving nutritional status, supporting physical development, improving meal-time behaviors, and coordinating suck-swallow-breathe patterns in infants.
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ChildServe’s specialists meet to create general and specific recommendations and referral support based on the child’s need. If necessary, they will create a careplan for the child. ChildServe will provide parents with a resource packet which will include a written report of the findings of the evaluation, recommendations, referrals, as well as educational and training materials.
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Expert Assessments

Our specialists provide assessments of feeding abilities and behaviors. They get to know the child throughout the assessment process. This includes learning how much food the child will eat during a meal, the texture of food accepted, the variety of foods consumed, mealtime behaviors, and oral feeding safety.

Our Feeding & Swallowing
Clinic Team Members

Speech-Language Pathologists
Occupational Therapists
Medical Social Workers
Physician consultants

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is this service offered?

Feeding and Swallowing assessments and therapy treatments are available at ChildServe in Ames, Iowa City and Johnston.

We also offer on-site speech and occupational therapy for children enrolled in childcare at the ChildServe Childcare Center in Johnston or children receiving Day Health services at our Des Moines location.

How do I get started?

Referrals can be made by the child’s parent/guardian, physicians, case managers, therapists, or other members of the child’s care team. To make a referral, or request more information call:

Johnston: 515-727-1561 

Ames: 515-232-3843

Iowa City: 319-351-5432

Bennett’s Story

For 9-year-old Bennett, developing a typical relationship with food has been a complicated journey. Since combining feeding therapy and mental health services at ChildServe, Bennett has gone from receiving most of his calories through supplementation to just 350 daily calories away from weaning off entirely!

Wyatt’s Story – Feeding Therapy

With help from feeding therapy, Wyatt has been able to join activities like eating pizza and cupcakes at a birthday party. See how he overcame feeding challenges to join the fun.

Contact Us!

ChildServe – Johnston
5406 Merle Hay Road, Johnston, IA 50131

ChildServe - Johnston


ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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