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Treatment for Dysphagia: A Speech Language Pathologist’s Perspective

  • Laura Brooks
Chapter

Abstract

Management of pediatric dysphagia is extremely complex and often requires a multidisciplinary approach. Children with dysphagia are at increased risk for developing respiratory compromise, failure to thrive, feeding refusal, and stressful interactions with their caregivers [1]. Etiologies of dysphagia may evolve from five broad diagnostic categories:

Neurologic (i.e., prematurity, central nervous system conditions)

Respiratory and other conditions impacting suck-swallow-breathe coordination (i.e., respiratory syncytial virus, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, cardiac disease)

Gastrointestinal (i.e., reflux)

Anatomic abnormalities of the aerodigestive tract (i.e., craniofacial abnormalities, vocal fold hypomobility, laryngeal cleft)

Other or unknown [1–4]

When planning treatment for an individual with dysphagia, it is critical to understand the medical history as it impacts feeding. The treatment strategies must target the etiology of the impairment as well as the symptoms that are associated with the dysphagia diagnosis/etiology. The therapist must ask: Why do these impairments exist? What is my rationale for therapy? What impact does the underlying disease have? What is developmentally appropriate for this child?

Keywords

Pediatric Feeding Strategies Recommendations Aspiration Thickening 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Brooks
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of RehabilitationChildren’s Healthcare of AtlantaAtlantaUSA

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