who have difficulty getting food to the mouth, chewing food, swallowing food,
or transitioning to the next level of food during development may have feeding
or swallowing difficulties, known as Dysphagia. At Lake
Regional Health System, the speech pathology and occupational therapy
departments can help your child eat better.
pathology department can evaluate chewing and swallowing by checking the stages
of the swallow which include:
Taking food off of the spoon and taking liquid
from the bottle or cup
- Chewing food or controlling food/liquid in the
- Moving food and liquid through the mouth
- Swallowing food and liquid through the throat
without coughing or feeling as though the food or liquid are getting stuck
your child’s pediatrician if you notice that he or she is having difficulty
chewing or swallowing food. The pediatrician can order a swallowing evaluation
in the speech therapy department. The speech therapist may evaluate your child
using special equipment in the x-ray department or by watching your child eat
in a child-friendly pediatric treatment room. Young children may be referred to
another hospital depending on the situation.
The speech therapist
may also work closely with occupational therapy
if your child has difficulty bringing food or liquid to the mouth or if your
child seems to avoid food textures, tastes, or temperatures.
The speech therapists
at Lake Regional Health System are all licensed in the state of Missouri and
receive ongoing training to stay current on feeding and swallowing standards.
more information about pediatric feeding and swallowing, please visit the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) website