Dysphagia or 'FEDS' - Feeding, Eating, Drinking and/or Swallowing difficulty
This refers to the total process of feeding, eating, drinking and swallowing.
Feeding - In babies, this refers to the ability to latch the the breast and nipple. For infants, children and adults this refers to the ability to self feed - getting the drink or food to your mouth.
Eating - From newborn infants to adults this starts when the food enters your mouth. It includes the manipulation of food - chewing and breaking down the bolus so it is ready to be swallowed. It involves you lips, teeth, tongue, hard palate, saliva and various muscles.
Drinking - Similarily, this relates to the ability to hold a liquid in your mouth until you're ready to swallow it.
Swallowing - This includes everything that happens from when food/liquid is at the back of the mouth until it reaches the stomach.
This is a term used to describe a swallowing disorder usually resulting from a neurological or physical impairment.
This impairment may affect different stages of the swallowing process:
Oral Stage - This refers to difficulties with using the mouth, lips and tongue to control food or liquid
Pharyngeal Stage - This may be characterized by difficulty initiating a swallow. Swallowing may be accompanied by nasal regurgitation, aspiration (entry of fluid/food particles into the lungs), and a sensation of residual food remaining
Oesophageal Stage - This refers to the sensation of food sticking or getting hung up in the base of your throat or in your chest after you've started to swallow. This may present as coughing, gagging or choking when eating.
This is a critical part of this service. The SLT will aim to identify the presence and nature of a FEDS (feeding, eating, drinking and/ or swallowing) disorder based on clinical signs.
This assessment may consists of a detailed case history, an oral motor examination, observation at mealtimes, analysis of food diary, food/liquid trials, written report and recommendations on how to modify food and/or liquids if required.
For some, dysphagia or 'FEDS' may impact their life for the long term.
Intervention may consist of simple mealtime changes, introduction of specialized feeding and drinking equipment/utensils, food and/or liquid trials, modification of food and/or liquid, supporting the client to modify their own meals and training the important people in your life how to do same.
For some cases, onward referrals may be appropriate to examine the clients swallow under an objective assessment e.g. videofluoroscopy or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES).
Assessment including case history, oral motor examination, observation at mealtime, food and liquid modification trials + Recommendations - €250
We also offer training for family members and staff (nurses, health care assistants, home help). See the training tab under 'Services'.
For some children, the taste, smell and texture of food can be simply overpowering and over bearing.
What might this look like?
This may be seen in children who:
have difficulty transitioning through food textures and consistencies i.e. smooth pureed -> mash -> hard munchables etc
refuse to eat certain foods due to there sensory properties i.e texture, smell, colour, taste
refuse to try new foods
insist on eating foods which have the same colour and texture
dislike going to birthday parties due to the foods that will be on offer
This can cause sensory aversions, distress and/or anxiety related to eating and mealtimes across environments.
Assessment and Intervention is a service we provide to these kiddies who may be naturally sensitive to the taste, smell and texture of food.
The goal of intervention should be to take the pressure and emphasis off eating - the very thing causing the child distress, and to focus on building up their tolerance of new foods and to support them with progressing through hierarchy of steps to eating whilst creating positive, family, mealtime routines.
prices may vary please enquire