What are Feeding and Swallowing Disorders?

Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it. For example, a child who cannot pick up food and get it to her mouth or cannot completely close her lips to keep food from falling out of her mouth may have a feeding disorder.

Swallowing disorders , also called dysphagia (dis-FAY-juh), can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:

  • Oral phase- sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
  • Pharyngeal phase- starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway ( aspiration ) or to prevent choking
  • Esophageal phase- relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat ( esophagus ) and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach

The above information can be found at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/feedswallowchildren.htm

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Karen George

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"Elizabeth was an incredibly communicative and supportive therapist for our daughter. We saw impressive improvement quickly, and our 2yo often looked forward to their weekly sessions. Our daughter just graduated from speech and we're so grateful for Elizabeth's expertise, empathy, and support over the past year!"

"We had the most wonderful experience with Chicago Speech Therapy! Our speech pathologist, Miss Megan, developed a bond with our son almost immediately. By week two, he would await her arrival by the window in our front door! She quickly discovered all of his favorite things and would bring so many toys of her own that would keep him engaged and wanting to talk! She gave us (parents) tons of strategies to work with on our own in between her weekly visits. Our son made consistent progress under her care and has now been released from speech therapy ~ which actually makes us so sad ~ simply because we miss Miss Megan! She basically became part of our family and will be dearly missed. I couldn’t recommend Miss Megan and Chicago Speech Therapy more!"

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