Assessment of pediatric dysphagia and feeding disorders: Clinical and instrumental approaches

Authors

  • Joan C. Arvedson

    Corresponding author
    1. Children's Hospital of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    • Children's Hospital of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Medical College of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
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Abstract

Assessment of infants and children with dysphagia (swallowing problems) and feeding disorders involves significantly more considerations than a clinical observation of a feeding. In addition to the status of feeding in the child, considerations include health status, broad environment, parent–child interactions, and parental concerns. Interdisciplinary team approaches allow for coordinated global assessment and management decisions. Underlying etiologies or diagnoses must be delineated to every extent possible because treatment will vary according to history and current status in light of all factors that are often interrelated in complex ways. A holistic approach to evaluation is stressed with a primary goal for every child to receive adequate nutrition and hydration without health complications and with no stress to child or to caregiver. Instrumental swallow examinations that aid in defining physiological swallowing status are needed for some children. Successful oral feeding must be measured in quality of meal time experiences with best possible oral sensorimotor skills and safe swallowing while not jeopardizing a child's functional health status or the parent–child relationship. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc. Dev Disabil Res Rev 2008;14:118–127.

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