Back to School – Feeding Tube Planning

September 1, 2016

Tube Feeding

It’s September, and kids are back in school! For children with a feeding tube, there are some important and necessary steps to take to ensure that their feedings are accomplished at school.  Here are some of the steps to plan for: Obtain the needed documentation All school districts require a signed doctor’s order and dietitian’s note specifying the child’s tube feeding plan and needs.  If your child has an IEP (Individualized Education Plan), you would want to make sure any accommodations that need to be made around their feeding or tube care are specified in it. Train the teacher, school…Read More

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Cri du Chat Syndrome – “Cry of the Cat”

May 26, 2016

cri du chat syndrome

The 5P Minus syndrome, also called Cri du Chat syndrome (or CdCS), is a genetic disorder caused due to a lack of a portion of chromosome  number 5. Those born with this missing or shortened chromosome have a distinctive “cat cry” or kitten-like cry (soft cry), due to an undeveloped larynx, which can deepen as a child grows older. Lower birth weight, smaller head circumference, and developmental delays are common in children with Cri du Chat syndrome. During May, the 5P Minus Society and Cri du are working to educate others about this extremely rare condition that affects approximately…Read More

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Pediatric Therapy Superstar – Katie Lopez

May 3, 2016

Meet Katie! Katie Lopez, a pediatric patient, joined Epic Pediatric Therapy’s South Austin Clinic with very concerned parents. They wanted Epic’s help with Katie’s regression in mobility, balance, and play. Katie’s father told us that when she was 10 months old she became very ill. Prior to the illness, Dad and Mom reported that Katie was pulling to stand, cruising, bouncing with support, and playing with dolls and balls; however, everything seemed to change overnight. Katie was 15 months old during her initial evaluation with the Epic Pediatric Therapy team. Unlike most 15 month olds, Katie was unable to pull…Read More

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Understanding Phonological Disorders

May 3, 2016

speech therapy

Some children seem to acquire phonological skills naturally; however, some children do not. When a child has difficulty understanding the sound system and speech rules of our language, the child is said to have a phonological disorder. These disorders are broader in scope and more complex than simple articulation deficits. In other words, a child with a phonological disorder may mispronounce a sound in certain words, yet pronounce it clearly in others. There can be an inconsistency in his/her sound errors. Sometimes a child with a phonological disorder completely drops sounds at the end of a word: book/booh, boat/bow, and…Read More

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Helping Families with Babies in NICU

April 11, 2016

premature baby boy in intensive care unit at hospital

If you know of friends or loved ones who are faced with the frightening experience of their baby in NICU, you may ask “how can I help?” Aside from knowing how to do more than offer comfort, prayer, and entrusting the professionals to do their jobs, is there a tangible way to assist? There are some very practical ways to lend a hand to these families during this stressful time, and to help alleviate a burden or two they may not have anticipated as they focus on their child. First of All, Say “Congratulations!” – This heartfelt expression should not…Read More

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Your Difficulty Swallowing Might be a Sign of Dysphagia

March 31, 2016


The difficulty some may experience when swallowing is called dysphagia. Dysphagia is caused by a compression commonly associated with obstructive disorders or a motor disorder of the esophagus. Difficulty swallowing is most common in older adults, babies, and people who have problems of the brain. There are a variety of problems that may cause the throat and the esophagus from functioning properly; some of these are minor, and others are more serious. If you or someone you know is having trouble swallowing on a regular basis, it might be a more serious problem that might require treatment. Dysphagia symptoms can…Read More

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Ivan Avila Greeted the Pope!

March 3, 2016

Spina Bifida

Though most with aspirations to meet and be blessed by one of the world’s most notable religious leaders, the Pope, will likely never have the opportunity to achieve this desire, Epic’s own Ivan Avila and his parents are among the few whose dream was realized during the Pope’s recent visit to Juarez, Mexico. Diagnosed at an early age with Osteogenesis imperfecta (also known as Brittle Bone Disease), Ivan has required specialized care to ensure he is best protected from potential accidents which can very easily break one or more bones. Living with this disease makes everyday tasks much more difficult…Read More

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High Points in Feeding Tube History

February 12, 2016

As we celebrate Feeding Tube Awareness this February, take a moment to reflect upon how far tube feeding has come since its beginning, approximately 3500 years ago. The first recorded attempt to provide some type of tube feeding dates back to ancient Egypt! They used reeds to give rectal feedings of chicken broth, wine and eggs. This was the tube feeding method of choice for the next 2000 years—we’ve come a long way! In the 1700’s, leather was used to create a flexible, hollow tube that patients would swallow. Then a syringe was used to deliver blended food to the…Read More

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Epic Patient Superstar – Gabriella Ramirez

February 3, 2016

mosaic down syndrome

Our February Epic Patient Superstar is Gabriella Ramirez. Gabriella is a precious Epic patient who is diagnosed with mosaicism. Mosaicism, a chromosome mutation, means that some of Gabriella’s cells have different genetic makeup than others. She requires an NG tube for feeding, but this hasn’t slowed her down from achieving significant milestones in her eight months with Epic. She currently receives private duty nursing, occupational therapy, and physical therapy services from our team of clinicians. “Gabriella’s nurse, Ashley Charles, is much more like family than a hired health professional,” says Gabriella’s mother Starlet. “Ashley continually goes above and beyond to…Read More

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What is Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome?

December 7, 2015


What is Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome? Twin to twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) is a rare, serious condition that can occur in pregnancies where two or more fetuses share a single placenta.  A majority of identical twins share a common placenta and as a result, the blood supplies of these fetuses can become connected. These connected blood vessels allow blood to circulate from one twin to the other. Depending on the number, type and direction of the interconnecting blood vessels (anastomoses), this blood transfer can become disproportionate from one twin (referred to as the “donor”) to the other twin (referred…Read More

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