This story is about Eli, a bright, energetic, angel of a boy ready to take on the world. Unfortunately, Eli has been suffering from dysphagia his entire life. The rigors of set feeding schedules, uncomfortable and strenuous nutrition intake, social isolation, and emotional heartache caused by having a son with dysphagia have put a tremendous strain on his entire family and their extended social and employment infrastructure.
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.
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.
by Jan C. Pryor M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S
The NFOSD was previously contacted by freelance journalist Janie Rosman. She was writing an article for Today’s Caregiver magazine and asked for some advice on the subject of pill swallowing difficulty. Jan Pryor provided a write up with a few tips and ideas which may help our readership.
A frequent problem for people with swallowing difficulties is taking pills. Usually the trouble is swallowing large pills. There are several options that simply alter the form of the medication.