, Volume 20, Issue 2, pp 89-100

Early Oral Sensory Experiences and Feeding Development in Children with CHARGE Syndrome: A Report of Five Cases

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Children with CHARGE syndrome commonly experience feeding and swallowing problems. Difficulties may be associated with congenital structural anomalies, motor impairment, and/or oral sensory impairment. For many children with CHARGE syndrome, the introduction of functional oral feeding is delayed and there are often long-term feeding complications. Oral aversion or defensiveness is a frequent serious issue; however, it is uncertain whether this is a primary sensory disorder or secondary to delayed and/or negative oral sensory and feeding experiences. This article examines in detail the early oral sensory and feeding experiences of five children with CHARGE syndrome, through a review of medical records and caregiver questionnaires. Findings indicate variable early oral sensory experiences in this group of children, with all of the children having some difficulty or delay in the development of oral feeding and swallowing. The nature of these difficulties and the potential contributory factors are discussed.

This research was conducted at Dalhousie University in collaboration with the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Health Centre.