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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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Making Life a Little Easier to Swallow – Christmas Dinner “Puree Style”

Written by Laura Michael (Byline below)

Christmas is a time of giving, joy and sharing family traditions. Gathering at the table to eat is one way we share our love, show our humanity and share our cultural traditions.

When you are having trouble swallowing, the act of eating can be scary or difficult.  Not being able to eat what everyone else is eating may make someone feel socially uncomfortable. Often, those who are experiencing the after effects of a stroke, cancer treatments or who are living with dementia may already be feeling isolated.  Not being able to share family dinners may make matters worse.

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A Spice of Life Soup for Thanksgiving Day

ASHA article excerpt* (recipe is below)

The following is an excerpt from an article in the ASHA Leader online publication titled, “National Dysphagia Diet: What to Swallow?” It was published on November 04, 2003 and written by Gary McCullough, Cathy Pelletier, and Catriona Steele.

The National Dysphagia Diet (NDD), published in 2002 by the American Dietetic Association, aims to establish standard terminology and practice applications of dietary texture modification in dysphagia management. While the publication of common terminology is long overdue, SLPs need to exercise caution when interpreting and applying the proposed terminology. As the NDD states, “Further study and peer-reviewed, scientific data will be needed to truly quantify the management parameters surrounding the complex diagnosis of dysphagia.”

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Thanksgiving is a tough time for those unable to eat

UC Davis physician, Dr. Peter Belafsky, plans to fast in solidarity with dysphagia patients

Press Release – UC Davis Health System (SACRAMENTO, Calif.) – November 21, 2012

A UC Davis physician is calling on colleagues who treat swallowing disorders to join him in a Thanksgiving fast as a way to raise awareness and show solidarity for patients who suffer from dysphagia, a condition that makes swallowing food difficult or impossible.

Peter Belafsky, a professor of otolaryngology and an expert in treating people with dysphagia, sent a message today to physicians around the country asking that they consider joining him in fasting on Thanksgiving.

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Jack is Back! Rockstar, Business Owner and Author – He has Dysphagia

On March 24, 2012, Jack Eadon, along with his Team Jack walked the 6th Annual ABI Walk for Brain Injury Awareness at Huntington Beach in California. Jack is an incredible individual with an amazing story.

Jack is well aware of surgical injury. Since August, 2010, his fifth and final surgery, he has been unable to swallow and is tube fed. Diagnosed at an early age in 1978, Jack had 4 surgeries before his epidermoid brain tumor was completely excised in 2010. His battle with the epidermoid brain tumor has been challenging, yet he remains hopeful and determined.

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