What Is a Swallowing Disorder?
A swallowing disorder is characterized by difficulty or inability to safely and effectively transport the food or liquid bolus from the mouth, through the pharynx and into the esophagus. A swallowing disorder can result in aspiration or food “going down the wrong pipe”. Aspiration can place a child at a higher risk for respiratory/pulmonary issues.
How Common Are Swallowing Disorders and Who Is Affected?
How Are Swallowing Disorders Diagnosed?
The most common way to diagnosis a swallowing disorder is by having a Video Swallow Study done, which is a video X-ray during swallowing. The child sits in a specialized seat similar to a car seat and is then given a variety of foods and liquids to assess the swallow. This test assesses the ability to control liquids and foods and looks for aspiration.
If a swallowing disorder is identified, therapists work to develop a plan to allow for safe and effective intake of foods and liquids. This might include thickening liquids to a safe consistency or decreasing the flow of liquid from the bottle. Swallowing disorders can be assessed and treated by a speech language pathologist or an occupational therapist.
You Might Also Be Interested In
Abdominal Pain: Outpatient
In this Helping Hand™ document, we discuss what steps to take if the cause of your child's abdominal pain cannot be determined. It is important that you watch your child closely for the next 24 hours and go back to your child’s doctor or the emergency department if they show more serious symptoms.
Nasopharyngoscopic Evaluation of Velopharyngeal Closure During Speech
Nasopharyngoscopy is a test that involves viewing the back of the nose and throat. This test uses a small tube-light camera, called an endoscope, to view this area while the child speaks.
Stuttering: Will My Child Outgrow it?
Stuttering is common when children are learning to talk. As a parent, this can be a stressful time full of questions. It’s difficult to know what is normal and what isn’t.