Skip to main content

Children with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to carry excess weight than their typically developing peers.  Medication side effects, low muscle tone, sensory issues with certain foods and difficulty managing hunger signals are just a few of the reasons for this.

With the right support from our team of weight management specialists, we will create an individualized care plan that will help your child improve their health in a way that works best for them.

Who we serve

The Special Needs Weight Management Clinic serves children and teens who are carrying excess weight and also have other health conditions, such as:

  • Developmental differences, like autism spectrum disorder
  • Down syndrome
  • Spina bifida and other physical disabilities
  • Prader Willi and other genetic causes of obesity
  • Cancer
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Early-onset weight gain in toddlers

Your care team

The Children’s Mercy weight management team will work together with your family to incorporate safe and appropriate nutrition and exercise programs into your daily routine. By seeing several specialists in one visit, we can coordinate your child’s care plan and account for any adjustments or accommodations they may need to be successful at home, school or in the workplace.

Your child’s care team includes the following pediatric specialists, as needed:

  • Pediatric psychologist
  • Pediatric and adult obesity certified physician
  • Pediatric nurses
  • Pediatric and bariatric certified registered dietitian
  • Occupational therapist
  • Social worker

We offer genetic testing to all families in our clinic if that is something you would like to pursue.

We will mail you a packet of paperwork before your first visit. Please bring your completed paperwork to your appointment.

Comprehensive support for your child

Child Life

Child Life specialists are available to help your child feel more comfortable during their visit to Children’s Mercy.  They can help your child understand what to expect before an exam or procedure, provide fun distractions, and support your child’s sensory needs.

Ask about Child Life when you schedule your visit or while you are here.

Comfort Promise

Comfort Promise strategies help children cope during needle procedures. If blood work or other needle procedures are part of your child’s care plan, we will do everything we can to make it easier for your child.

Research opportunities

Children’s Mercy is one of only three clinics in the country that is specifically designed for children with special needs  who are carrying excess weight. Other institutions often  consult with us on the work we do with children and  families like yours.

Because of this, we encourage every family in our Special Needs Weight Management Clinic to consider participating  in one of several ongoing research studies. While  participation is always voluntary, you have an opportunity to make a significant impact on the care and treatment of children with special needs and weight concerns.

Talk with your care team if you would like to learn more about current research studies through the Children’s Mercy Research Institute.

Contact us

For more information or questions about the Special Needs Weight Management Clinic, please call (816) 234-9231.