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Feeding Therapy


Children with feeding disorders demonstrate difficulty with gathering, sucking, chewing, and swallowing food. The development of respiration and postural stability, gross and fine motor skills, visual and sensory motor skills, oral motor skills, and cognition all may impact a child's ability to successfully eat and swallow foods. Children who are diagnosed with certain medical conditions, reflux, genetic syndromes, craniofacial anomalies, neurological problems, prematurity, allergies and developmental delay are at a higher risk of feeding difficulties and disorders.

Below are common signs and symptoms of feeding and swallowing problems in young children. If your child presents with some of the following conditions, please contact our office to inquire about a feeding evaluation and feeding therapy services.

  • 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 feed (e.g., only pureed foods or crunchy cereals)
  • Long feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty breastfeeding
  • 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
  • Gurgly, hoarse, or breathy voice quality
  • Frequent spitting up or vomiting
  • Recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections
  • Less than normal weight gain or growth

Sources: 1) “Feeding and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia) in Children.” American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, ASHA, 2) Johanson, N. A. (2013). Pediatric Feeding: Comprehensive Management in Early Intervention [PowerPoint slides]. 

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