Feeding and Swallowing
Pediatric Through Geriatrics
Feeding is A HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE
We do a Comprehensive Clinical Evaluation of Feeding and/or Swallowing using a problem driven model rather than a diagnosis-driven model because
- many infants with feeding problems carry no medical diagnosis
- when a medical diagnosis does exist it may or may not be related to the feeding problem
It is prudent to begin the assessment process soon after feeding difficulties are initially identified. Fairly simple feeding difficulties may easily become extremely complex as the infant/adult or care-giver develop feeding patterns that may compound the initial problem.
FEEDING PROBLEM IDENTIFIED
SPECIFIC CAUSES DETERMINED
TREATMENT/MANAGEMENT PLAN DEVELOPED
A feeding behavior does not become a “feeding problem” until it does not meet the expected performance for that infant.
For a “normal” baby without any medical diagnosis or complications, we expect the infant will take the required amount efficiently, without colour change or other physiological compromise, and will gain weight.
A feeding problem exists when an infant/child
- has a diagnosis of reflux
- is congested during and after feeding
- The infant/child takes less than is optimal
- Has apnea or cyanosis
- Coughs, sneezes, chokes or gags frequently
- Spits out and vomits frequently
- Has food/liquid come out through nose
- Takes excessively long to feed
- Tires out before feeding is finished
- Typical expectations are not met
- Does not gain weight
Several diseases, conditions, or surgical interventions can result in swallowing problems.
General signs may include
- Coughing during or right after eating or drinking
- Wet or gurgly voice during or after eating or drinking
- Extra effort or time needed to chew or swallow
- Food or liquid leaking from the mouth or getting stuck in the mouth
- Recurring pneumonia or chest congestion after eating
- Weight loss or dehydration from not being able to eat enough
As a result, adults may have:
- Poor nutrition or dehydration
- Risk of aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway), which can lead to pneumonia and chronic lung disease
- Less enjoyment of eating or drinking
- Embarrassment or isolation in social situations involving eating
Some of the cases we have worked with include but not limited to:
Alzheimer’s Disease, Brain Tumors, Burns, Head and Neck Cancer, Neurological issues, General Surgery, Traumatic Brain Injury, Motor Neuron Disease, Parkinson’s disease.