What are Feeding and Swallowing Disorders?

Feeding disorders include problems gathering food and getting ready to suck, chew, or swallow it. For example, a child who cannot pick up food and get it to her mouth or cannot completely close her lips to keep food from falling out of her mouth may have a feeding disorder.

Swallowing disorders , also called dysphagia (dis-FAY-juh), can occur at different stages in the swallowing process:

  • Oral phase- sucking, chewing, and moving food or liquid into the throat
  • Pharyngeal phase- starting the swallow, squeezing food down the throat, and closing off the airway to prevent food or liquid from entering the airway ( aspiration ) or to prevent choking
  • Esophageal phase- relaxing and tightening the openings at the top and bottom of the feeding tube in the throat ( esophagus ) and squeezing food through the esophagus into the stomach

The above information can be found at http://www.asha.org/public/speech/swallowing/feedswallowchildren.htm

If you are concerned with your child’s speech or language development, please contact Chicago Speech Therapy by calling 312-399-0370 or by clicking on the “Contact Karen” button on the upper right section of this page.

Your Pediatric Feeding Therapist in Chicago,

Karen George

Karen George is a Chicago speech-language pathologist. The practice she founded, Chicago Speech Therapy, LLC, provides in-home pediatric speech therapy in Chicago and surrounding suburbs. Karen and her team of Chicago speech therapists have a reputation for ultra-effective speech therapy and work with a variety of speech disorders. Karen is the author of several books such as A Parent’s Guide to Speech and Language Milestones, A Parent’s Guide to Articulation, A Parent’s Guide to Speech Delay, A Parent’s Guide to Stuttering Therapy, and A Parent’s Guide to Pediatric Feeding Therapy. She is often asked to speak and has addressed audiences at top Children’s Hospitals and Northwestern University. Karen is highly referred by many Chicago-area Pediatricians and elite schools.