By: Suzanne Golden, M.S., CCC-SLP
Did you know that speech-language pathologists also treat feeding/swallowing disorders? Often, an SLP’s role in feeding/swallowing is seen in skilled nursing facilities or with elderly patients who are at risk for aspiration. However, SLPs also provide feeding/swallowing therapy for children!
What is a feeding disorder?
Feeding disorders may involve part or all of the three phases of swallowing.
· The oral phases includes sucking, chewing and manipulating food in the mouth to get it ready to swallow
· The pharyngeal phase includes starting to swallow, moving food down the throat and preventing food from getting into the airway.
· The esophageal phase includes opening and closing the esophagus (the pipe that food goes down) to let food into the stomach
How do I know if my child may have a feeding disorder?
Most children naturally develop the skills needed for safe and efficient chewing/swallowing. However, if you notice that your child is having trouble eating or swallowing, you may want to seek the help of an SLP. Here are some red flags for feeding development:
What are some implications of feeding disorders in children?
My child has some of the symptoms you described above! What should I do now?
· Talk to your child’s pediatrician about your concerns
· Call a speech-language pathologist who works with children with feeding disorders
· Begin keeping a diary of your child’s intake and document any other information that may be important (episodes of choking, vomiting, etc…)
For more information about feeding/swallowing disorders please visit www.asha.org or consult a local
If you are concerned about your child’s language development call Golden Speech Therapy and schedule a free screening!
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