If you don't already know a child who struggles with the development of normal feeding and swallowing skills, you will likely encounter one sooner rather than later. It is reported that the prevalence of pediatric dysphagia is increasing due to improved survival rates of children born prematurely, with low birth weight, and with complex medical conditions (Arvedson, 2008; Lefton-Greif, 2008). An analysis completed by the March of Dimes in 2016 indicated the incidence of premature birth in the US increased for the first time in 8 years. Prematurity is only one of the leading causes of feeding and swallowing disorders in young children. Feeding and swallowing problems can be attributed to a wide variety of conditions Oftentimes, the exact origin of a child's feeding difficulty isn't clear. Most children struggling with feeding have more than one issue influencing their struggle with eating. In an effort to educate parents, graduate students in speech-language pathology, entry-level clinicians, and related medical professionals, I designed an infographic to describe the nature of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders.
Whether you're a mom of a special needs child with a diagnosed feeding problem, the parents who want to get off the not-so-merry-go-round of mealtime power struggles, the dad who knows something isn't quite right with his child's feeding but isn't sure what to do, or the beginning clinician who's simply curious about pediatric feeding, I hope this infographic provides you with useful information and piques your interest to learn even more.
Arvedson, J. C. (2008). Assessment of pediatric dysphagia and feeding disorders: Clinical and instrumental approaches. Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 14, 118-127.
Lefton-Greif, M. (2008). Pediatric dysphagia. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America, 19, 837-851.
March of Dimes 2016 Premature Birth Report Card