• Speech and Language Evaluations
  • AAC Evaluations
  • AAC programming, training and therapy
  • Individual Therapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Social Skills Groups
  • Tele-practice (DC, VA, some international locations)

Pediatric Feeding Disorders Services

  • Feeding Evaluation and Consultation
  • Feeding Therapy and Parent Training
  • Group Feeding Therapy



Pediatric Language & Communication Disorders

Feeding Therapy

The Pediatric Language and Communication Disorders (PLCD) clinic is a specialty track that provides speech and language support to children with varying needs:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Augmentative & Alternative Communication (AAC)
  • Developmental Delay
  • Receptive and Expressive Language Disorder
  • Pragmatic Language Disorder

At the GWU, we work closely with families to create an individualized service plan to help children uncover and strengthen skills, allowing them to function to the best of their abilities. We utilize behavioral interventions, as well as sensory integration techniques, as needed, while providing speech-language therapy to our clients. We provide complete speech-language evaluations, including AAC assessments, for both verbal and non-verbal children, as young as 6 months and can provide services for cognitively impaired adults.

Pediatric Feeding Disorders

Feeding disorders are problems with a range of eating activities that may or may not include problems with swallowing. Feeding disorders can be characterized by one or more of the following behaviors:

  • Avoiding or restricting one’s food intake
  • Refusing age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate foods or liquids
  • Accepting a restricted variety or quantity of foods or liquids
  • Displaying disruptive or inappropriate mealtime behaviors for developmental level
  • Failing to master self-feeding skills expected for developmental levels
  • Failing to use developmentally appropriate feeding devices and utensils
  • Experiencing less than optimal growth

The long-term consequences of feeding and swallowing disorders can include:

  • food aversion;
  • oral aversion;
  • aspiration pneumonia and/or compromised pulmonary status;
  • undernutrition or malnutrition;
  • dehydration;
  • gastrointestinal complications such as motility disorders, constipation, and diarrhea;
  • poor weight gain velocity and/or undernutrition;
  • rumination disorder (unintentional and reflexive regurgitation of undigested food that may involve re-chewing and re-swallowing of the food);
  • ongoing need for enteral (gastrointestinal) or parenteral (intravenous) nutrition;
  • psychosocial effects on the child and his or her family; and
  • feeding and swallowing problems that persist into adulthood, including the risk for choking, malnutrition, or undernutrition.  

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) play a central role in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of infants and children with swallowing and feeding disorders. The professional roles and activities in speech-language pathology include clinical/educational services (diagnosis, assessment, planning, and treatment), prevention and advocacy, education, administration, and research. The Speech and Hearing Center provides feeding services for clients who are picky eaters, have food aversion or sensitivity, and oral motor impairment. Sensory, oral aversion, and oral motor disordered clients will engage in special treatment focusing on improving food quality and quantity intake.


Laura Barrett, M.S., CCC/SLP

Prof. Barrett is the primary supervisor for both the Pediatric Language Communication Disorders and Social Communication Disorders clinical tracks.