How Speech Pathology Addresses Problems Eating and Drinking
Having trouble swallowing, chewing, eating, or drinking can not only be irritating, but also extremely dangerous for your health. Your body needs you to be able to eat and drink in order to receive nutrition, have energy, and stay healthy. Children and adults may struggle to eat or drink because of an injury, medical condition, or a swallowing disorder. Fortunately, speech pathology provides the solutions and treatments these individuals need in order to recover.
Identifying that Your Child May Have a Swallowing Disorder
Children with problems eating or drinking due to a disorder may initially be viewed as being picky eaters. A child that is struggling to control chewing and swallowing muscles may frequently complain not about the flavor of a food, but the texture and consistency of the food.
Signs of an eating or swallowing problem may also include frequent coughing after eating, or the lingering sensation of a lump in the throat. These disorders can range from quite mild or can lead to a very serious risk of choking or becoming malnourished.
How a Speech Pathologist Can Help
The first thing a speech pathology will typically do is suggest a diet that will be safer for the individual who is having trouble swallowing. Until the throat and facial muscles are stronger, it will be important to avoid foods that will cause excess trouble or become a choking hazard.
The next step will be to begin using speech pathology techniques that will help the throat muscles become stronger, and allow for more muscle control in this area. Depending on the specific weaknesses of the individual, the speech pathologist, or speech therapist, will teach customized exercises, such as methods of gargling and swallowing, which will target the muscle groups that need the most help.
If you feel your child may have a swallowing disorder that makes it difficult for them to chew, eat, drink or speak, please contact ENT Wellbeing Speech Pathology to book a consultation with our speech pathologist to help your child through this frustrating and complicated time. Phone our Sydney clinic on 1300 123 368.