By: Donna Edwards, MA CCC-SLP, BCS-S
As we begin our pediatric series, I thought it best to build on the previous article “Dysphagia in Children and Young Adults with Neuromuscular Disorders” by Lenie van den Engel-Hoek, PhD who in her opening paragraph introduces us to dysphagia and a relationship to choking.
Eating is a learned skill incorporating a myriad of complex neurophysiological processes that are impacted by a multitude of variables in the meal time environment, in the presentation by and expectations of the feeder, and in the inherent uniqueness of the pediatric patient, family and culture that we serve. Over this series we will delve into various aspects of typical/atypical feeding and swallowing.
For decades professionals have explored use of clinical techniques and research endeavors to provide improved oral feeding for children and thus optimize safety, growth, development, maturation and enhancement of mealtimes with family. Our ultimate goal has been optimization of feeding skills, enhancement of nutrition/hydration for growth and development, family interactions during meal times and support of cultural traditions.
Despite our diligence and understanding of feeding and swallowing disorders, our awareness of choking risk in pediatrics is often misaligned with current data.
This article was reposted from Dysphagia Cafe.