Feeding Therapy

Feeding Therapy

Feeding and Swallowing Disorders and Therapy (Dysphagia)

The goal of oral feeding and swallowing therapy is to address concerns regarding difficulties with chewing and biting, swallowing, acceptance of different food textures, acceptance of difference liquid tastes and consistencies, and maintain safety and pleasurable experience with independent eating and drinking. Difficulties with eating and drinking can lead to health, learning, and social concerns. These issues can arise as a result of multiple factors, such as developmental delays, muscle weakness, craniofacial abnormalities, surgery, sensory sensitivities, autism spectrum disorders, prematurity, Gastroesophageal reflux (acid reflux), medications, allergies, illnesses, or injuries; these can often result in behavioral concerns with regard to eating and drinking.

Important Signs and Symptoms of Feeding and Swallowing Disorders

  • Arches back or stiffens when eating
  • Cries or fusses when eating/feeding
  • Falls asleep when feeding
  • Difficulties with breast feeding
  • Trouble breathing while eating or drinking
  • Refuses to eat or drink
  • Eats only certain textures
  • Takes longer than typical peers to eat and/or drink
  • Trouble chewing; takes a long time to eat/finish a meal
  • Coughing or gagging during meals or snacks
  • Frequent drooling/saliva loss; food/liquid loss
  • Difficulty gaining weight or growing; dehydration/malnutrition
  • Wet voice or sounding “gurgly”, hoarse, or breathy after eating/drinking
  • Become congested during meals
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Need for a feeding tube
feeding