Feeding method and health outcomes of children with cerebral palsy.

Disorders of feeding and swallowing are common in children with cerebral palsy. Feeding and swallowing disorders have significant implications for development, growth and nutrition, respiratory health, gastrointestinal function, parent-child interaction, and overall family life. Assessments need to be comprehensive in scope and centered around the medical home. Oral feeding interventions for children with cerebral palsy may be effective in promoting oral motor function, but have not been shown to be effective in promoting feeding efficiency or weight gain. Feeding gastrostomy tubes are a reasonable alternative for children with severe feeding and swallowing problems who have had poor weight gain.