Until recently, there was very little scientific research on pediatric feeding disorders. Research is important because it helps us understand why feeding problems occur and it helps us solve those problems. Nevertheless, without any research, treatments that professionals use are based on guesswork. Meaning, there is no scientific evidence available to show that a treatment used with a child actually treated the child’s feeding problem. That is fine if the professional makes a good guess and gets it right. However, treatments that work for one child might not work for another child. Even more concerning is that treatments that work with one child might even worsen another child’s feeding behavior. That is why research is important. Research allows us to ask and answer questions like “why doesn’t my child want to eat?” Research helps us find solutions to problems like how to get a child to chew or swallow. Research creates new knowledge that we can use to make better treatments.

We want to provide your child with cutting edge assessment and treatment. Our group is constantly seeking ways to improve what we do. That is where our research comes in. The research we have conducted has been among the most systematic in the field and has firmly established our approach as the most effective method for assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. Our research has focused on understanding why children do not eat and on development of effective treatments. If you are interested in finding out more about some of the research conducted with pediatric feeding disorders, please click on the topic below to read more on research studies associated with the topics listed below.

Why Children Refuse to Eat

  1. Piazza, C. C. (2008). Feeding disorders and behavior: what have we learned? Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 14(2), 174-181.
  2. Piazza, C. C., Fisher, W. W., Brown, K. A., Shore, B. A., Katz, R. M., Sevin, B. M., Gulotta, C. S., & Patel, M. R. (2003). Functional analysis of inappropriate mealtime behaviors. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 187-204

Treatment of Food Refusal

  1. Addison, L. R., Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., Bachmeyer, M. H., Rivas, K. M., Milnes, S. M., & Oddo, J. (in press). A comparison of sensory integrative and behavioral therapies as treatment for pediatric feeding disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
  2. LaRue, R. H., Stewart, V., Piazza, C. C., & Volkert, V. M. (2011). Escape as reinforcement and escape extinction in the treatment of feeding problems Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 719-735.
  3. Rivas, K. R., Piazza, C. C., Kadey, H. J., Volkert, V. M., & Stewart, V. (2011). Sequential treatment of a feeding problem using a pacifier and flipped spoon. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 387-391.
  4. Rivas, K. D., Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., & Bachmeyer, M. H. (2010). Spoon distance fading with and without escape extinction as treatment for food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 673-683.
  5. Bachmeyer, M. H., Piazza, C. C., Fredrick, L. D., Reed, G. K., Rivas, K. D., & Kadey, H. J. (2009). Functional analysis and treatment of multiply controlled inappropriate mealtime behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42, 641-658.
  6. Patel, M. R., Reed, G. K., Piazza, C. C., Bachmeyer, M. H., Layer, S. A., & Pabico, R. S. (2006). An evaluation of a high probability request sequences to increase acceptance of food and decrease inappropriate behavior in children with pediatric feeding disorders. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 27, 430-442.
  7. Reed, G. K., Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., Layer, S. A., Bachmeyer, M. H., Bethke, S. D.,  & Gutshall, K. A. (2004). On the relative contribution of noncontingent reinforcement and escape extinction in the treatment of food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 27-41.
  8. Dawson, J. E., Piazza, C. C., Sevin, B. M., Gulotta, C. S., Lerman, D., & Kelley, M. L. (2003). Use of the high-probability instructional sequence and escape extinction in a child with food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 105-108.
  9. Patel, M. R., Reed, G. K., Piazza, C. C., Mueller, M., Bachmeyer, M. H., & Layer, S. A. (2007). Use of a high-probability instructional sequence to increase compliance to feeding demands in the absence of escape extinction. Behavioral Interventions, 22(4), 305-310.
  10. Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., Gulotta, C. S., Sevin, B. S., & Layer, S. A. (2003). On the relative contribution of positive reinforcement and escape extinction in the treatment of food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 309-324.
  11. Patel, M. R., Piazza, C. C., Martinez, C. J., Volkert, V. M., & Santana, C. M. (2002). An evaluation of two differential reinforcement procedures with escape extinction to treat food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 363-374.
  12. Freeman, K. A., & Piazza, C. C. (1998). Combining stimulus fading, reinforcement, and extinction to treat food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31, 691-694.

Treatment of Picky Eating

  1. Mueller, M. M., Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., Kelley, M. E., & Pruett, A. (2004). Increasing variety of foods consumed by blending nonpreferred foods into preferred foods. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37, 159-170.
  2. Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., Santana, C. M., Goh, H., Delia, M. D., & Lancaster, B. M. (2002). An evaluation of simultaneous and sequential presentation of preferred and nonpreferred food to treat food selectivity. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 259-270.

Treatment of Refusal to Drink Liquids

  1. Groff, R. A., Piazza, C. C., Zeleny, J. R., &  Dempsey, J. R. (2011). Spoon-to-cup fading as treatment for cup drinking in a child with intestinal failure. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 949-954.
  2. Kelley, M. E., Piazza, C. C., Fisher, W. W., & Oberdorff, A. J. (2003). Acquisition of cup drinking using previously refused foods as positive and negative reinforcement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 89-93.
  3. Patel, M. R., Piazza, C. C., Kelly, M. L., Ochsner, C. A., & Santana, C. M. (2001). Using a fading procedure to increase fluid consumption in a child with feeding problems. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34, 357-360.

Treatment of Swallowing and Packing (Pocketing Food)

  1. Vaz, P. C. M., Piazza, C. C., Stewart, V., Volkert, V. M., Groff, R. A., & Patel, M. R. (in press). Using a chaser to decrease packing in a children with feeding disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
  2. Dempsey, J., Piazza, C. C., Groff, R. A., & Kozisek, J. M. (2011). A flipped spoon and chin prompt to increase mouth clean. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 949-954.
  3. Volkert, V. M., Vaz, P. C. M., Piazza, C. C., Frese, J., & Barnett, L. (2011). Using a flipped spoon to decrease packing in children with feeding disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 617-621.
  4. Gulotta, C. S., Piazza, C. C., Patel, M. R., & Layer, S. A. (2005). Using food redistribution to reduce packing in children with severe food refusal. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 39-50.
  5. Patel, M. R., Piazza, C. C., Layer, S. A., Coleman, R., & Swartzwelder, D. M. (2005). Systematic evaluation of food textures to decrease packing and increase oral intake in children with pediatric feeding disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38, 89-10.

Treatment for Children Who Spit Food Out

  1. Wilkins, J. W., Piazza, C. C., Groff, R. A., & Vaz, P. C. M. (2011). Chin prompt plus re-presentation as treatment for expulsion in children with feeding disorders. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 513-522.
  2. Patel, M. R., Piazza, C. C., Santana, C. M., & Volkert, V. M. (2002). An evaluation of food type and texture in the treatment of a feeding problem. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35,183-186.

Teaching a Child to Self-feed

  1. Vaz, P. C. M., Volkert, V. M., & Piazza, C. C. (2011).  Using negative reinforcement to increase self-feeding in a child with food selectivity. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 44, 915-920.
  2. Piazza, C. C., Anderson, C., & Fisher, W. (1994). Teaching clients with Rett syndrome to self-feed. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, 35, 991-996.

Feeding Problems and Autism

  1. Volkert, V. M.,  & Vaz, P. C. M. (2010). Recent studies on feeding problems in children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43, 155-159.
  2. Tang, B., Piazza, C. C., Dolezal, D., & Stein, M. T. (2011). Severe feeding disorder and malnutrition in two children with autism. Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics. 32(3), 264-267.
  3. Kodak, T., & Piazza, C. C. (2008). Assessment and behavioral treatment of feeding and sleeping disorders in children with autism spectrum disorders. Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 17(4), 887-905.

Parent Training

  1. Mueller, M. M., Piazza, C. C., Moore, J. W., Kelley, M. E., Bethke, S. A., Pruett, A. E., Oberdorff, A. J., & Layer, S. A. (2003). Training parents to implement pediatric feeding protocols. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36, 545-562.

Reviews and Book Chapters

  1. Volkert, V. M., & Piazza, C. C. (in press). Empirically supported treatments for pediatric feeding disorders. In P. Sturmey & M. Herson (Eds.), Handbook of evidence based practice in clinical psychology. Wiley, USA: Hoboken, NJ.
  2. Pediatric feeding disorders. In C. Martin & A. Southall (Eds.), Feeding problems in children: a practical guide for health professionals. Radcliffe: Abingdon, U.K
  3. Piazza, C. C., & Roane, H. S. (2009). Assessment of pediatric feeding disorders. In J. L. Matson, F. Andrasik, & M. L. Matson (Eds.), pp. 471-490, Assessing and treating childhood psychopathology and developmental disabilities. Springer: New York, NY.
  4. Piazza, C. C., Roane, H. S., & Kadey, H. J. (2009). Treatment of feeding disorders. In J. L. Matson, F. Andrasik, & M. L. Matson (Eds.), pp. 435-444, Assessing and treating childhood psychopathology and developmental disabilities. Springer: New York, NY.
  5. Piazza, C. C., & Addison, L. R. (2007). Function-based assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. In P. Sturmey (Ed.), Functional analysis in clinical treatment (pp. 129-149). Elsevier Academic Press: San Diego, CA.
  6. Cohen, S. A., Piazza, C. C., & Navathe, A. (2006). Feeding and nutrition. In I. L. Rubin & A. C. Crocker (Eds.), Medical care for children and adults with developmental disabilities (pp. 295-307).Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co.
  7. Piazza, C. C., & Carroll-Hernandez, C. A. (2004, March). Assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. In R. E. Tremblay, R. E. Barr, & R. DeV Peters (Eds.), Encyclopedia on early childhood development. [On-line website]. Montreal, Quebec.

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