May is Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM). All month long, Speech and Language Pathologists (SLPs) like myself raise awareness about communication and feeding / swallowing disorders! I love sharing knowledge about my profession and how SLPs can help families struggling with picky eating or feeding / swallowing disorders.

Here are some signs or symptoms of feeding and swallowing disorders in young children from the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA) website:

  • Arching or stiffening of the body during feeding
  • Irritability or lack of alertness during feeding
  • Refusing food or liquid
  • Failure to accept different textures of food
  • Long feeding times (e.g., more than 30 minutes)
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Difficulty breast feeding
  • Coughing or gagging during meals
  • Excessive drooling or food/liquid coming out of the mouth or nose
  • Difficulty coordinating breathing with eating and drinking
  • Increased stuffiness during meals
  • Gurgly, hoarse or breathy voice quality
  • Frequent spitting up or vomiting
  • Recurring pneumonia or respiratory infections
  • Less than normal weight gain or growth

If a child has several of the signs mentioned above, they may be at risk for the following:

  • Dehydration or poor nutrition
  • Aspiration (food or liquid entering the airway)
  • Pneumonia or repeated upper respiratory infections that can lead to chronic lung disease
  • Embarrassment or isolation in social situations involving eating
  • See the entire ASHA article here

If your child or client is demonstrating some of these symptoms, please seek out the advice of an SLP specializing in feeding and swallowing. Remember - early intervention counts, so the earlier a child receives help, the better the outcome!

Happy Feeding!

Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz

Dawn Winkelmann, a.k.a “Ms. Dawn”, has treated thousands of kids across the globe by helping families overcome picky eating stages and food refusals, while adding new foods into their diet. Her high success rate is attributed to Ms. Dawn bringing her education, experience, sense of humor and her favorite feeding products to the family dinner table.

You will find Ms. Dawn’s expert feeding advice to be positive and fun for the entire family! She adapts complicated feeding/swallowing research and makes it practical and easy for parents! Get ready to learn the science behind your favorite feeding products and ways to bring happy family mealtimes back!

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