Supports & Assessment for Feeding and Eating (SAFE)


Center for Development and Disability

2300 Menaul Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87107

Phone: (505) 272-3000
Fax: (505) 272-2014

About Us

What Does SAFE Do?

The New Mexico SAFE (Supports and Assessment for Feeding and Eating) Pediatric Resource Team provides feeding evaluations and recommendations for children with feeding difficulties, e.g. autism spectrum disorders (ASD), behavior difficulties, and medical concerns. Feeding assessment focuses on behavioral feeding issues, oral motor function, positioning, adaptive equipment, food textures, health screening and diet analysis.

Who Do We Serve?

We welcome infants and children, birth - 17 years who have difficulty with any of the following:

  • Aspiration
  • Gastroesophageal reflux
  • Sucking
  • Swallowing
  • Positioning and/or seating
  • Transitioning from tube to oral feeding or oral to tube feeding
  • Advancing to textured foods
  • Chewing
  • Drinking liquids
  • Self feeding
  • Gagging or vomiting
  • Mealtime behaviors (“picky” eaters/refusals to eat)


The NM SAFE Program provides:

  • A multi-disciplinary clinic-based assessment team with expertise in swallowing disorders and feeding difficulties
  • A detailed written report of the assessment with recommendations
  • Assistance in locating appropriate community resources
  • Support to develop a mealtime program for children who require a detailed “how to” feeding instruction

Who Can Refer?

Referrals can be made to the NM SAFE Program by anybody, such as:

  • Family members
  • Nutritionists
  • Physicians and nurses
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Speech and language pathologists
  • Teachers
  • Early interventionists
  • Residential care staff
  • Case managers
  • Guardians

Referral Form [Word doc] / [PDF]

How Does it Work?

  • A referral is made to the NM SAFE Program.
  • An intake packet is completed.
  • The child’s family will be invited to a clinic-based feeding assessment.
  • Throughout the assessment, the family care providers will be present as active participants.
  • A follow -up consultation may be arranged within 1 to 6 months of the assessment, if requested.
  • The feeding evaluation is provided at no cost to families. However, Medicaid or private insurance will be billed if available.
  • Specific written recommendations will be given at the end of the assessment.
  • A detailed written report will be sent four weeks after the assessment.

Educational Services

  • Education for graduate and undergraduate students in feeding approaches for children
  • Community trainings and outreach on SAFE clinic services
  • Technical assistance, support, and continuing education for professionals