Feeding and Swallowing Center (FASC)

Children’s Hospital's Feeding and Swallowing Center (FASC) provides assessment, treatment, and ongoing support and follow-up care for infants and children experiencing feeding difficulties. Feeding difficulties can develop for a variety of reasons (medical, anatomical/structural, developmental, behavioral, and/or psychosocial) and therefore require a comprehensive assessment. A comprehensive evaluation combined with appropriate referrals at an early age will produce the best outcomes for children and their families.

The FASC involves an interdisciplinary team of specialists who provide comprehensive assessment and treatment . The child’s care is coordinated among multiple staff members with an emphasis on ongoing family education, training, and support. Based on the child’s needs, the initial assessment may include input from one or more of the following specialists:

  • Physician
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist
  • Clinical Dietitian
  • Behavioral Health
  • Nurse Coordinator

If your child experiences one or more of the following, they may benefit from an evaluation with the FASC:

  • Limited or poor intake
  • Food refusal/selectivity
  • Inadequate or slow weight gain
  • Suspected or identified problems with airway protection and swallowing
  • Choking
  • Sensory problems
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Chewing difficulties
  • History of gagging
  • Picky eating
  • Oral sensitivity
  • Lack of oral feeding experiences

To schedule an appointment call 412-692-FEED (option 1).
To speak to the nurse call 412-692-FEED (option 2).

FASC Appointment Experience

Upon arrival and completion of registration, you and your child will be greeted by a nurse or medical assistant. Some basic questions will be asked, then height and weight measurements will be taken on your child. You may have a short wait until seen by team.

Once the FASC team is ready, you will be escorted to team room. The team consists of a medical provider, a speech therapist, an occupational therapist, and a dietitian. Our lactation consultant and behavioral health specialist are available as needed. The team members will speak with you and obtain a detailed feeding history. The team then will observe your child eat foods and consume beverages that you have brought to the visit. The team room is equipped with a high-chair and small table available for use during the feeding evaluation. There is a microwave and bottle warmer as well. The team usually has a running discussion with you to let you know what their observations and assessments are during the feeding evaluation. Final recommendations will be discussed with you at the conclusion of the evaluation. These recommendations will be provided as a document for your reference; extra copies are also provided should your child already have therapists he or she is working with. You can expect your visit to last approximately 45-60 minutes.

Feeding Therapy

If your child is over 12 months old, the FASC team may make a referral for feeding therapy. Outpatient feeding therapy is available with occupational and/or speech therapy at the following sites:

  • Children’s Hospital in Lawrenceville: 412-692-5480
  • Children’s North in Wexford at Pine Center: 724-933-9255
  • Children’s East in Monroeville: 412-666-3836
  • Children’s South in Bridgeville: 412-692-5992

Referral Requirements

Referrals are required from primary care physicians or other Children’s Hospital specialty services. Referrals for patients enrolled in managed care insurance plans also may require authorization from the insurance provider and primary care physician. All necessary referral and authorization forms must be received before the patient’s visit. For accurate provider numbers or more information, please call the office number.

Doctors

Location

  • Feeding and Swallowing Center (FASC)

    UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224
    412-692-FEED (3333)