Swallowing and Feeding Disorders

Pediatric feeding therapy may be appropriate for children who eat a limited amount or variety of foods or who have experienced difficulty gaining weight. Memphis Speech and Hearing Center offers clinical assessment and therapy for children, ages birth through five. Speech-Language Pathologists provide treatment using the Sensory Oral Sequential (SOS) Feeding Approach. Parent training is also provided to assist skill development in the home.

According to the 2012 National Health Interview Survey, approximately 9.4 million adults in the United States have difficulty swallowing, also known as Dysphagia. For 2.4 million of them, the problem significantly affects the quality of life. Causes vary, but the majority result from strokes or other neurological diseases, as well as cancers of the head, neck, and mouth.

Professionals at MSHC use an evidence ¬based approach that combines biofeedback with exercises that target the muscles of the mouth and throat. This method is recognized as being more effective than exercise alone in restoring strength and coordination to the muscles of swallowing. The result is often a return of some, if not all, functional swallowing ability. A medical referral from a physician is needed as well as results from a recent modified barium swallow study to initiate services.