Feeding Therapy

If your child is not receiving adequate nutrtion or hydration, your child may have a sensory processing disorder and/or a disorder known as Dysphagia, (dis-FAY-juh).

Dysphagia can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:

  • Oral phase – sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat

  • Pharyngeal phase – starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway (aspiration) or to prevent choking

  • Esophageal phase – relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat (esophagus) and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach

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  • Signs & symptoms of feeding and swallowing disorders in children:

  • Children with feeding and swallowing problems have a wide variety of symptoms. Not all signs and symptoms are present in every child.

  • The following are signs and symptoms of feeding and swallowing problems in very young children:

  • arching or stiffening of the body during feeding

  • irritability or lack of alertness during feeding

  • refusing food or liquid

  • failure to accept different textures of food (e.g., only pureed foods or crunchy cereals)

  • long feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)

  • difficulty chewing

  • difficulty breast feeding

  • coughing or gagging during meals

  • excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose

  • difficulty coordinating breathing with eating and drinking

  • increased stuffiness during meals

  • gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality

  • frequent spitting up or vomiting

  • recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections

  • less than normal weight gain or growth

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  • As a result, children may be at risk for:

  • dehydration or poor nutrition

  • aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway) or penetration

  • pneumonia or repeated upper respiratory infections that can lead to chronic lung diseas

  • embarrassment eating around others.

 

Prestige Therapy specializes in Pediatric Feeding Disorders. Contact us today to schedule your child's feeding evaluation.

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