What is a swallowing disorder?
Swallowing disorder refers to the inability to safely maneuver liquid and food from the mouth to the stomach. Swallowing challenges can take place in three stages: oral (mouth), pharyngeal, and esophageal. Having a swallowing disorder could cause weight loss, the airway to be blocked, or aspiration resulting in pneumonia.
What causes swallowing disorder?
Swallowing disorder can be due to physical/structural causes, oral-motor skills, neurologic disorders, medicinal treatments, or connective tissue diseases.
How do I know if my child is developmentally delayed?
Warning signs that your child may have difficulty swallowing/eating include: choking while eating, weight loss, excessive drooling, keeping food in their cheeks, change in voice while eating, or resistance to eating.
How can I help treat my child’s condition?
If your child is demonstrating feeding issues, or the warning signs above, an evaluation by a speech-language pathologist may be warranted. An evaluation may include referrals for specific medical tests or referrals to allergists or ENTs. Treatment for a swallowing disorder is dependent upon the phase of the swallow in which the child is experiencing difficulty. Having a safe swallow is a first priority, and oral-motor skills are commonly addressed to help the child swallow correctly
Our Approach at North Shore Pediatric Therapy
At North Shore Pediatric Therapy, our therapists work with children with swallow disorders to help them achieve safe swallowing and feeding habits. A variety of techniques and exercises are used based on each individual child’s needs.