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Why won’t my child eat like other’s of his (or her) age?

children-playingByline: Donna Edwards, MA CCC-SLP, BRS-S

[NFOSD note. Due to the significant volume of emails and calls we receive from families who have a child with a feeding or swallowing disorder, we reached out to Donna Edwards for her insight into what makes this such a difficult diagnosis and treatment. Donna spent a significant amount of quality time listening to what we are hearing and provides an in-depth and insightful response to this subject matter. Thank you for this valuable contribution.]

As a practicing pediatric clinician, I often hear from physicians, “Why does this child have feeding difficulty when there is no evidence of developmental delay, neurological insult or obvious diagnosis?”  It’s a difficult question to answer, not only for the child and the family, but one that holds the speech language pathologists interest as well.

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Swallowing and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinsons disease (small)

Byline: Michelle Ciucci, PhD, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Surgery-Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, and the Neuroscience Training Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Michelle recently joined the NFOSD as a board member.

[Publisher note. Michelle Ciucci wrote this article for publication on the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research website. It was published on 11/5/2013 and can be viewed on their site by clicking here. The NFOSD is continually exploring ways in which we can work with other non-profit foundations where swallowing disorders present a significant risk to the members of their respective community’s.]

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Not Just a “Fear of Food” – Pediatric Dysphagia

 

Meet Jayden… a healthy, cute, full of life five year old. Every parent’s dream. But, don’t take our word for it, watch this KATU (Portland) newscast which aired on June 10, 2013 and read his story.

Pediatric dysphagia is more common than generally believed. For additional information, click here to read about “Jayden’s Journey” from the beginning.



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How Aging Affects Our Swallowing Ability

Byline: Rebecca Leonard, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, UC Davis

[Editors note: Click on the image below to view a 16 second video fluoroscopy clip of a swallow by a 20-something year old (on the left) versus a 70-something year old (on the right). Notice how smoothly liquids glide down the throat of the younger subject versus the effort and time required by the older subject to clear his throat. Comment — How nice it would be to be young again! Video provided courtesy of Rebecca Leonard.]

Swallowing difficulty (dysphagia) is a common consequence of many medical conditions, including stroke, chronic diseases that affect the nervous system and surgeries that affect the head and neck.  But swallowing difficulty can also be associated with aging.  In fact, it has been estimated that as many as 20% of individuals over the age of 50 years, and most individuals by the age of 80 years, experience some degree of swallowing difficulty. Individuals over the age of 65 years accounted for 12.9% of the U.S. population in 2009, and are expected to account for 19% of the population by 2030.  These large and growing numbers motivate us to understand all we can about how aging affects swallowing.  Hopefully, what we learn will help us treat, and possibly prevent, dysphagia in the elderly.

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Finding Help for Your Child with Dysphagia

By: Nancy B. Swigert, M.A.,CCC-SLP,BRS-S

You’re worried about your child’s feeding and swallowing skills.  Maybe your child is still taking the bottle when her peers are drinking from a cup. Perhaps your child is choking and gagging when eating certain foods.  Or maybe your child, who used to take the bottle with no problems,  screams every time he sees the bottle and refuses to drink.  Or maybe your child has taken the term “picky eater” to new heights; picky doesn’t begin to describe the limited list of foods your child will eat. Perhaps you’ve had to stop taking your child out to eat at restaurants because his tantrums during meal times draw too much attention. Or your child tries new foods, but spits them out and refuses to swallow.

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