How do SLPs work on feeding and swallowing problems?

An SLP can work on feeding and swallowing problems in a variety of ways. An SLP can recommend postural and positioning techniques to help protect the airway and offer safer transit of foods and liquids. An SLP will help families with diet modifications to facilitate safety and ease of swallowing. This could include thickening thin liquids, softening, cutting/chopping, pureeing

solid foods, or making taste/temperature changes. An SLP may change equipment and utensils to help with feeding problems, such as modified bottles, weighted forks and spoons, sectioned plates, or cut out cups. An SLP may carry out oral-motor treatments, which include range-of-motion activities, sensory stimulation, resistance exercises, and chewing exercises to improve/strengthen muscles involved with feeding. The SLP can provide feeding strategies, such as pacing or tactile cueing to improve the quality of feeding/swallowing. Behavior interventions may be used to increase appropriate feeding behaviors. Neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) therapy could be used to help activate muscles needed for swallowing.

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