Our Team

The Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute uses an interdisciplinary team approach to evaluate and treat your child’s feeding disorder.

All of the team members work to assess your child’s feeding disorder and to create a treatment program by looking at both the specific biological and behavioral factors involved. This includes evaluating how your child’s biologic variables (for example, medical conditions or oral-motor skill deficits) as well as their mealtime behavior (for example, throwing temper tantrums at the dinner table so they can be excused from eating) function together or in isolation, keeping him or her from eating.

Our program includes the following disciplines:

Pediatricians, and nurse practitioners monitor a child’s progress and may recommend diagnostic techniques such as upper GI endoscopy, percutaneious endo-scopic gastrostomy, pH probe, or esophageal/antroduodenal manometry. Concerns regarding medical care, nursing care, or other therapies should be addressed directly with the physician or specialist assigned to your child.

Behavioral psychologists supervise and direct a child’s meal sessions and supervise the behavioral feeding plans. They work with clinical specialists to develop treatment plans and feeding protocols to help children increase their solid and liquid intake and decrease food refusal behavior.

Speech/language pathologists provide assessment and treatment of oral motor skills, swallowing function, and communication skills. They also assist in determining the appropriate diet level that can be managed safely.

Occupational therapists provide assessment and treatment of oral motor, swallowing function, fine motor, sensory-motor, and developmental skills through direct child evaluation, caregiver interview, and observation. Occupational therapists also help determine an appropriate diet level that can be managed safely.

Pediatric nutritionists determine a safe and efficient means for each to child to meet his or her caloric and fluid needs to support growth. They also closely monitor all oral intake to provide guidelines on when it is appropriate to begin decreasing the amount of tube feedings a child receives.

Social workers help family and caregivers understand the treatment program, provide additional support to family and caregivers throughout the child’s admission, coordinate discharge planning, and help access community services available to them. They also lead the parent support group during admissions.

Pediatric nurses provide direct care to patients, which may include medication administration, tube feedings, treatments, procedures, and hygiene care.

Developmental playroom specialists facilitate developmentally appropriate daily activities for patients outside of meal therapy sessions. Although the environment is fairly unstructured, the playroom therapists maintain a simple set of rules and behavior protocols for all patients. The primary playroom therapist is also responsible for leading caregiver-training sessions in small group settings to further assist with the explanation of the basic applied behavior analysis principles, interventions, and related protocols that are implemented in the playroom.

Nurse clinicians help caregivers coordinate follow-up outpatient appointments with the interdisciplinary team after being discharged from the program.

Our support services staff coordinate admissions to the inpatient and day treatment-feeding unit including insurance clearance, continued-stay reviews, and updates to insurance companies.

Meet Our Staff and learn more about employment opportunities at the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.


For a complete overview of our Feeding Disorder Program, please visit the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program homepage.

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