Many chairs will be vacant at our Thanksgiving table this year as members of our communities and families sit this one out because dysphagia takes no holiday! The inability to swallow- to eat and drink will leave those we care most about alone and isolated because they cannot commune with family and friends over a shared meal.
The NFOSD team is constantly on the lookout for useful news articles. North Shore Pediatric Therapy posted a website article on Swallowing Disorders vs. Feeding Disorders in Children on October 16, 2012. The article was written by Gretchen Olson, SLP.
We field questions almost weekly from mothers who have young children with Dysphagia. We recognize a pattern of similar characteristics from these frequent contacts. The young child has generally been seen by multiple doctors or therapists over a period of a few years and there is no definitive diagnosis, physical abnormality, or known “reason” why the child is unable to successfully eat. In addition, the amount of time and energy exerted by the mother is draining to the point of near hopelessness.
It is sponsored by Nestle Nutrition and describes the following: what is dysphagia, signs and symptoms, physical and psychological affects on the patient (and to some extent one’s family/friends), the anatomy of swallowing, and finally nutrition and hydration management. Theirs is a lot out there on YouTube, but this video packed in great content in a short clip.
A swallowing assessment study published in 2008* reported that a swallowing “disorder is under recognized by most clinicians and is frequently underreported by patients.” To provide an easy assessment tool and promote better communications between a patient and their clinicians, the study authors developed and validated a self-administered Eating Assessment Tool with 10 easy questions. This assessment tool is named “EAT-10” and has been adopted by many clinics as a means of initial patient assessment and ongoing progress.
Dr. Peter Belafsky, an NFOSD board member and current president of the Dysphagia Research Society (DRS) wrote a president’s letter to the DRS membership in June 2012. In that letter he likened the affects of severe dysphagia on the patient as being in a constant state of water boarding. The video in this article was published by Amnesty International. Be forewarned, it is short, yet graphic, and is not for everyone.