Signs of a Feeding or Swallowing Disorder

What Are Signs and Symptoms of a Feeding or Swallowing Disorder?

  • Breathing stress signals (respiratory fatigue, nasal flaring, chin tugging/head bobbing, stridor, reliance on “catch” breaths)
  • Swallowing stress signals (gulping, drooling, gurgling sounds in airway, double swallows, coughing, choking, frequent regurgitations)
  • Severely self-limiting intake of oral foods & liquids
  • Food refusals/aversions
  • Coughing
  • Difficulty chewing and/or swallowing
  • Excessive drooling or food coming out of the mouth/nose
  • Wet, gurgly vocal quality when eating or drinking
  • Recurrent respiratory issues
  • Excessive behaviors around eating
  • Children on feeding tubes
  • Poor weight gain
  • Sensitivity to temperatures/smells/textures of foods
  • Heightened or lack of awareness of flavor
  • Difficulty manipulating eating utensils
  • Avoidance of touching foods
  • Frequent spilling of both food and drinks unintentionally
  • Chewing with mouth open
  • Biting fingers and tongue while eating
  • Dribbling food and drink down chin
  • Dropping food on the floor unintentionally
  • Constant fidgeting during the meal
  • Variable attention during meals
  • Frequent wiping of hands and mouth during eating
  • Child fears putting things in his/her mouth
  • Gagging while eating or in the presence of particular food items

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