What is Dysphagia? Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing or eating.

Dysphagia can occur during any stage of the feeding process, from chewing of food, formation of a bolus, to the passage of the bolus through the esophagus. Dyspagia can result from a variety of underlying problems such as muscle weakness, physiological malformation, and sensory integration dysfunction. Feeding problems can cause mild to severe malnutrition, behavioral complications, and serious health concerns.

Even a child incapable of speech can directly communicate a feeding problem. Nonverbal clues may include one or more of the following:

  • 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
  • Gurgling, hoarse, or breathy voice quality
  • Frequent spitting up or vomiting
  • Recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections
  • Less than normal weight gain or growth

More information:

  • http://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/FeedSwallowChildren.htm
  • http://www.asha.org/uploadedFiles/public/speech/swallowing/TESPediatricFeedingandSwallowing.pdf

How We Can Help

The clinicians at Baron Therapy specialize in the treatment of dysphagia through expert feeding therapy. We combine research-based methods with 20 years of clinical experience to successfully provide expert care to children who have difficulty talking. We have a passion for helping children become effective verbal communicators.

If a child has a feeding disorder, the younger a child starts treatment the better. Early intervention can help remove these problems to the fullest extent.


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