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What causes Feeding and Swallowing Disorders


There are numerous possible causes for feeding and swallowing problems, including:

  • nervous system disorders, like cerebral palsy or meningitis;

  • reflux or other stomach problems;

  • being premature or having a low birth weight;

  • heart disease;

  • cleft lip or palate;

  • breathing problems, like asthma or other diseases;

  • autism;

  • head and neck problems;

  • muscle weakness in the face and neck;

  • medicines that make them sleepy or not hungry;

  • sensory issues;

  • behavior problems.


What Lifespan Speech and Swallow Therapy has to offer?

Our pediatric feeding therapists will examine how the child eats and drinks. The speech and language pathologist (SLP) will:

  • ask questions about the child’s medical history, development, and the problems they are having

  • watch how the child moves their mouth and tongue

  • watch the child eat to see how they pick up food, chew, swallow, and drink

  • watch how the child behaves during meals

  • do special tests, if needed

Our pediatric feeding therapists will develop treatment plans for our clients aimed at:

  • Making the muscles of their mouth stronger.

  • Helping them move their tongue more.

  • Helping them chew foods.

  • Getting them to try new foods and drinks.

  • Improving how well they can suck from a bottle or drink from a cup.

  • Helping them learn how to breathe while sucking and swallowing. This will be for babies only.

  • Changing food textures and liquid thickness to help them swallow safely.

  • Getting them to participate during meals, including accepting food.

  • Helping with sensory issues. Your child may not like the way food feels in their mouth or on their hands. The SLP can help them get used to how food feels.

  • Changing the way you hold your baby or the way your child sits when eating.​

At Lifespan Speech and Swallow Therapy, our goals are to:

1. Help the child develop good mouth structures that will support overall health

2. Help child develop appropriate eating and drinking skills that will be used throughout life

3. Help child develop mouth structures that will support the development of good speech




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