Feeding Clinic

feeding clinicChildren with Autism Spectrum Disorders and related disabilities often present with issues related to feeding, including:

  • Food Selectivity
  • Food Refusal
  • Oral-Motor Deficits

In order to meet the unique needs of these children, CCSN has developed a Feeding Clinic that integrates behavioral and oral-motor approaches. This clinic includes both evaluation and treatment services with family training on supporting the transfer of treatment gains into the home and community.

Diagnostic Evaluation

Prior to beginning any intervention we complete a comprehensive evaluation to determine variables that interfere with eating

  • Assessment of Mealtime Behavior – An evaluation utilizing observational methods and data collection systems to identify environmental conditions that affect behavior during mealtime
  • Oral-Motor Evaluation – Assess potential oral-motor deficits that interfere with feeding
  • Food Log – Record of foods eaten over a designated period of time to assess variety of foods presented and amount accepted
  • Texture Inventory – Parental report of taste, texture and temperature preference
  • Clinical Observation – Evaluation of other physiological and social influences that could compromise successful feeding
  • Preference and Reinforcer Assessment – Systematic evaluation of potential reinforcers to use during treatment including preferred edible items, play and leisure items or activities

Program Development

  • Program development based on individual needs identified through the diagnostic evaluation
  • Programs will address behavioral issues, oral-motor issues or both
  • Weekly individualized behavioral and oral-motor treatment targeting:
    a) Skill development & overcoming restrictions
    b) Parent training
    c) Modification of program elements to individual needs
    d) Supporting skill transfer across settings
  • Treatment procedures are designed to support use throughout the week by parents, school personnel and other caregivers
  • Collaboration with Pediatrician and/or Nutritionist as needed
  • All program recommendations and training are supervised by the team at CCSN


Consultation with other settings is imperative in order to ensure consistency and to facilitate generalization of skills. Settings for consultation include:

  • School
  • Day care center
  • Extended family

Our Team

Co-directors: Kristen M. Powers, OTR/L and Mark J. Palmieri, Psy.D., BCBA-D

Clinical case coordinator: Shaunessy Egan, M.S. Ed., BCBA

Collaboration with Pediatrician and/or Nutritionist as needed

Now available, “Feeding Your Child with Autism: A Family-Centered Guide to Meeting the Challenges” by Dr. Mark J. Palmieri, Psy.D., BCBA-D & Kristen Powers, M.S., OTR/L Woodbine House, Amazon