INFANT & CHILD FEEDING AND SWALLOWING

WARNING SIGNS OF FEEDING & SWALLOWING DISORDERS

Feeding Disorders

  • Mouth stuffing & poor food control
  • Fear or anxiety associated with food
  • Repulsed by texture, smell, taste and food touching
  • Rejecting unfamiliar foods
  • Prolonged mealtimes & tantrums
  • Growth faltering
  • Refusal of entire food groups
  • Pocketing foods in oral cavity
  • Rejecting previously tolerated foods
  • Delayed self-feeding skills

Swallowing Disorders

  • Coughing or vomiting while eating
  • “Wet” voice during or following meals
  • Difficulty transitioning from:
  1. Tube to oral feedings
  2. Bottle to solids
  • Loss of food & liquid from mouth
  • Difficulty sucking or chewing
  • Tongue Thrust

ABOUT DYSPHAGIA

Dysphagia means difficulty swallowing. It may result in:

  • Aspiration (food or liquid in the airway)
  • Pneumonia
  • Malnutrition
  • Other medical complications

Common Causes

  • Genetic or congenital disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Cardio-respiratory problems
  • Structural abnormalities
  • Prolonged tube feedings

Assessments

In order to accurately diagnose and treat feeding and swallowing disorders, we use several types of evaluations, including:

  • Clinical Evaluations – Performed by our speech-language pathologists in our clinic.
  • Modified Barium Swallow Study – Performed by a radiologist and speech-language pathologist outside of our clinic.
  • Orofacial Myology Assessment - including objective frenum measurement to help decide if clipping may be necessary, lip strength and other oral motor muscle functions.
  • Evaluarion via an IOPI Iowa Oral Performance Instrument ¬†-objectively ¬†measures tongue lip and cheek strength

Treatment

Our goal is for each child to enjoy eating and drinking age appropriate foods within their medical and safety limitations.

In order to achieve this, our clinical team provides innovative therapy originating from research. We create and implement child specific therapy based on the diagnosis, special needs and dietary restrictions.

OUR CLINICIANS HAVE TRAINING IN:

Feeding:

  • Sensory Integration
  • Food Chaining
  • Modified bottle or nipple changes
  • Diet and texture modifications
  • Pre-feeding skill development
  • Therapeutic feedings
  • Body posturing & postural adjustments
  • G-tube weaning
  • Tolerating an age appropriate diet

Swallowing:

  • Aspiration precautions
  • Oral motor therapy
  • Saliva management therapy
  • Orofacial Myology
  • ……and more!

ABOUT OUR PROGRAM

Our approach is family-centered. We support, educate and counsel patients, families and caregivers. We include caregivers in each therapy session and encourage their participation.

Our clinicians are trained to analyze and interpret clinical and instrumental information related to diagnosing and treating feeding and swallowing problems. We understand various medical conditions and their relationships to swallowing difficulties.

We use a team approach, include our speech-language pathologists, the patient, family and caregivers, physicians and other professionals, as appropriate.