feeding therapy swallowing therapy

What to Expect in a Feeding Therapy Evaluation

Many people think of the role of speech therapists as being limited to speech and language. However, we also play a key role in pediatric feeding therapy evaluation and treatment.

Our Fort Myers speech-language pathologists are experts in oral mechanics – all the way down to the esophagus. We’re specially qualified to support individuals with feeding and swallowing difficulties.

Most people don’t put a ton of thought into the process of feeding and swallowing, but but both actually involve dozens of steps and systems working in conjunction. Feeding is what it takes to get food off the plate and into the mouth. Swallowing involves all the steps it takes to chew and then move food down the throat while protecting the airway leading to the lungs.

A child may have a feeding AND swallowing disorder, or just one or the other. For example, a child on the autism spectrum may have a feeding disorder wherein their food intake is extremely limited due to sensory processing difficulties. They may only need feeding therapy. A child with tracheostomy tubes or dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) or odynophagia (pain while swallowing) may only need swallowing therapy.