If you suspect that your child is having difficulty eating, contact your pediatrician right away. Your pediatrician will examine your child and address any medical reasons for the feeding difficulties, including the presence of reflux or metabolic disorders. A speech-language pathologist (SLP) who specializes in treating children with feeding and swallowing disorders can evaluate your child and will:
- ask questions about your child’s medical history, development, and symptoms
- look at the strength and movement of the muscles involved in swallowing
- observe feeding to see your child’ s posture, behavior, and oral movements during eating and drinking
- perform special tests, if necessary, to evaluate swallowing, such as:
- modified barium swallow -child eats or drinks food or liquid with barium in it, and then the swallowing process is viewed on an X-ray.
- endoscopic assessment -a lighted scope is inserted through the nose, and the child’s swallow can be observed on a screen.
The SLP may work as part of a feeding team. Other team members may include:
- an occupational therapist
- a physical therapist
- a physician or nurse
- a dietitian or nutritionist
- a developmental specialist
Your child’s posture, self-feeding abilities, medical status, and nutritional intake will be examined by the team. The team will then make recommendations on how to improve your child’s feeding and swallowing.
The above information can be found at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/feedswallowchildren.htm
If you have any concerns about your child, please contact me for a free, no-obligation screening or information packet. You can reach me by calling 312-399-0370 or clicking on the button on the upper-right section of this page. I will be happy to answers any question you have and point you toward beneficial speech therapy resources.
Your Pediatric Feeding Therapist in Chicago,
Karen George is a certified Speech-Language Pathologist with extensive experience with feeding issues and disorders. She serves Chicago’s north side conducting in-home Speech and Feeding Therapy in neighborhoods such as Downtown (the Loop), West Loop, River North, Gold Coast, Old Town, Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, Bucktown, Roscoe Village, and Wicker Park. Karen’s Feeding practice will begin serving Chicago’s North Shore and Western Suburbs starting in September 2010. Karen started the website Chicago Feeding Therapy in 2010.