Children who have feeding and swallowing problems may have Dysphagia. It is essential to consult a Speech, Language and Swallowing Pathologist in order to determine what the child can swallow safety and avoid risk of malnutrition and dehydration.
There are various causes of feeding or swallowing problems in children. These include but are not limited to: Cerebral Palsy, reflux, premature birth, cleft lip or palate, breathing problems, head and neck problems, muscle weakness in the face or neck, sensory issues and behavioral problems.
Cries or fusses when feeding
Has problems with breast feeding
Has trouble breathing while eating and drinking
Refuses to eat or drink
Eats only certain textures, such as soft or crunchy food
Takes a long time to eat
Has problems with chewing
Coughs or gags while eating and drinking
Drools a lot, or has liquid come out of the mouth or nose
Has a gurgly, breathy or hoarse voice while eating and drinking
Is not gaining weight or growing
At Q Enrichment Center, our Speech, Language and Swallowing Pathologist will conduct an extensive comprehensive assessment to determine the type of difficulty, the severity, as well as the diagnosis related to the feeding and swallowing difficulties. A detailed report will be completed along with a treatment plan specific to each individual’s needs.
Therapy would focus on making the muscles of the mouth stronger, increase tongue movement, getting the child to try new foods and drinks, modifying food textures and liquid consistencies to ensure the child is swallowing safely and help with sensory issues.