Date: 12/6/2011 12:00:00 AM
Brady’s Smile grant will fund feeding disorder clinic at Clearfield Hospital
Babies and children diagnosed with feeding disorders will now be able to receive the help they need locally thanks to a partnership between Brady’s Smile and Clearfield Hospital.
Brady’s Smile, a children's charity founded by Matt and Annie (Flegal) Hinton in memory of their son Brady, recently presented a $5,000 check to the hospital in support of the new developmental sensory/feeding therapy program.
“For babies and children with feeding disorders, feeding therapy can mean the difference between optimal physical and mental development and possibly permanent developmental and physical delays. We’re grateful to Brady’s Smile for helping us to establish a new program that will help many local children,” stated Glenda “Dee Dee” Sedor, speech language pathologist.
A feeding disorder is a condition where an infant or child has difficulty with eating. The child is either unable to eat or rejects food. Children with a feeding disorder normally experience a lack of growth; they are also low weight for their age. A child with a feeding disorder is very fussy during meals, and may consume foods or textures that are inappropriate.
Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and preparing to suck, chew or swallow it. For example, a child who cannot pick up food and get it to his or her mouth or cannot completely close their lips to keep food from falling out of the mouth may have a feeding disorder.
Some common forms of feeding disorders in children include problems with swallowing; food refusal; inability to self-feed; choking, gagging or vomiting when eating; improper behavior during meals; and picky eating depending on food type and texture. In some cases, a child may have behavior problems during meals (e.g., tantrums) that cause the meal to be very stressful for the family.
Led by the speech language pathologists at Clearfield Hospital in collaboration with the pediatricians from Clearfield Center for Children’s Care, goals of the new therapy program include decreasing anxiety toward new foods, increasing socialization and peer interactions, increasing jaw and oral motor strength and adding new foods to a child’s restricted diet.
Children of all ages may benefit from this therapy. Referrals may come from physicians or the child’s parents or caregivers. Most major insurances cover the program.
The Brady’s Smile grant was used to purchase sensory equipment and supplies, including gross and fine motor stimulation toys; educational materials; sensory testing protocols; feeding equipment such as specialized bottles/nipples, cups, bowls and utensils; and devices to assist with swallow studies.
Brady’s Smile hosted its annual fundraiser, “Color the Night 4,” in Clearfield on Oct. 22. The successful carnival-themed evening was filled with games, raffles and a silent auction that provided a means for people to have fun and give back to the local community. More than 300 people attended the event and their generosity made it possible to fund this new program.
“We continue to be overwhelmed by the support of everyone here tonight and continue to do everything we can to support children’s services here locally in the Clearfield area,” stated Annie Hinton, president of Brady’s Smile, at the event. She continued, “Your ongoing commitment to our growing charity continues to inspire us and provides us with the ability to fund amazing programs right at your doorstep.”
Brady’s Smile is a nationally recognized 501(c) (3) children’s charity with a mission of helping make life easier for sick children. Brady’s Smile offers four intensive care unit (ICU) children’s-based programs at 14 hospitals across seven states, four of which are in Pennsylvania.
To learn more about therapy services at Clearfield Hospital, please contact 768-2285. Clearfield Hospital’s Rehabilitation Department offers outpatient and inpatient care in physical, occupational, speech and pulmonary therapies, and cardiac rehabilitation.
For more information about Brady’s Smile, please log onto its Facebook page or Web site, bradyssmile.org.