shutterstock_272345930Dysphagia

Dysphagia is a feeding and swallowing disorder, and includes any difficulties experienced during the feeding process. 

 

Some of the common feeding problems in the early years include but not limited to:

  • Poor feeding posture or positioning
  • Fussy eating or fear of certain foods and food textures resulting in limited variety of food intake
  • Slow and weak sucking or chewing skills
  • Pocketing food in the mouth
  • Difficulty in upgrading to a cup or spoon from a bottle
  • Difficulty in eating lumpy food and tolerating only puree foods
  • Refusing food and spitting out
  • Reduced intake of food
  • Lack of awareness of food in the mouth resulting in over stuffing
  • Recurrent chest infections in the absence of a cold or flu
  • Gagging or vomiting

 

Why won’t my child eat? It may be issues involving…

  • Poor oral motor skills to manage the food in the mouth
  • Oral sensitivity to food textures and tastes
  • Poor motor development of the body
  • Behaviour or psychology
  • Medical conditions
  • Structural or functional issues of the oral cavity
  • Environment factors

 

Feeding assessment and therapy

A speech-language therapist, who is skilled in the area of feeding and swallowing, will evaluate your child to determine any issues that warrant the need for therapy. Therapy may involve strategies to improve behavior, feeding environment, oral motor skills and sensory processing over a realistic period of time. You are encouraged to seek help if your child is having difficulty eating or drinking, is experiencing any of the mentioned problems and if mealtimes are often a struggle.