What is it?
Dysphagia is a condition in which the action of swallowing is difficult or painful. Dysphagia can affect individuals in varying degrees.
Swallowing problems in infants and children is often referred to as pediatric dysphagia. Causes vary from neuromuscular issues, neurological disorders and in children premature or difficult births, sensory problems or the presence of a craniofacial disorder including a cleft lip or palate.
Some children have difficulty with swallowing due to sensory discomfort with how food feels in their mouth. Gastric reflux my also contribute to dysphagia.
These issues may begin at birth and negatively affect breast or bottle feeding.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms include difficulties during nursing, sucking, eating, swallowing and drinking. Failure to thrive in infants may result from the presence of dysphagia.
How is it treated?
All speech pathologists at PTC have extensive training, experience and expertise in the area of dysphagia and swallowing disorders. This also includes breast and bottle feeding. They should be addressed therapeutically early to keep these problems from impacting the nutritional status of babies. Oral Motor/ Feeding therapy will address the specific issues impacting each child’s feeding disorder.