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Tube feeding

Feeding therapy and support for babies and children up to 12 years with a Nasogastric Tube (NG) or Gastrostomy Tube (G Tube).

Transitioning to oral feeding

The speech pathologist will work collaboratively with the paediatrician, dietitian and other healthcare professionals to support the tube weaning process.

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Breast/Bottle feeding difficulties

Any difficulties with attachment to breast or bottle as well sucking difficulties.

Breast or bottle refusal/ aversion

Bottle or breastfeeding difficulties due to the following: prematurity, laryngomalacia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), tongue &/or lip tie

Poor weight gain or growth

The speech pathologist will work collaboratively with necessary health care professionals including the paediatrician and lactation consultant.

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Tongue and Lip Tie

Assessment of newborns, babies and children up to 12 years with suspected tongue &/or lip tie.

Feeding is a complex process that involves various physical, medical, social, emotional and environmental factors. It is critical therefore, that all babies and children have a full oral examination and feeding assessment by a speech pathologist before having tongue &/or lip tie surgery. There may be other reasons that your baby or child is having feeding difficulties, not just because they have been diagnosed with a tongue &/or lip tie.

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Saliva Control/Dribbling

Excessive drooling may be common in children over the age of 18 months- 2 years with certain medical conditions, developmental disorders or neurological conditions.

Children may have excessive dribbling due to cerebral palsy, down syndrome and other neurological disabilities. They may have poor oral motor control, muscle tone problems, enlarged tonsils or adenoids and be mouth breathers. These children may even snore at night.

The speech pathologist can assess and provide therapy to help control the excessive dribbling and where clinically indicated, collaborate with the Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists.

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Dysphagia is a medical term used to describe difficulty or discomfort in swallowing food, liquids and saliva. Dysphagia can lead to chronic chest infections or aspiration pneumonia. It is essential to diagnose and treat dysphagia as early as possible. Some common causes of dysphagia include, structural abnormalities, neurological conditions, muscle weakness or spasms and gastroesophageal disease (GORD).

If your baby or child presents with the following symptoms during or after eating or drinking, please contact us: coughing &/or choking, colour change in the face, wet/gurgly breathing, watery eyes, refusing to eat &/or drink.

The speech pathologist can assess and provide support and treatment for babies and children with dysphagia.

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Fussy/Picky Eaters

Having a toddler or child who is a fussy/picky eater can cause a lot of stress during mealtimes. It can be very hard to know if this is normal or if you should be concerned.

Please get in contact with us if your child exhibits any of the following: an extremely restricted diet (eating only one food group); poor weight gain and growth; nutritional deficiencies; refusing to touch food, refusing to eat for hours or days; a constant desire to be clean; refusing to sit at the table for meals; only eating when distracted; extremely stressful mealtimes; not eating at childcare or preschool.

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Autism Spectrum Disorder

Feeding difficulties are relatively common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These difficulties can manifest in various ways and may be related to sensory sensitivities, behavioural challenges, or communication issues associated with ASD. Some common feeding difficulties observed in children with autism include: sensory sensitivities, highly restricted and limited food repertoire, picky eating, limited independent feeding, anxieties at mealtimes, sensory overload at mealtimes, communication difficulties and behavioural challenges.

The speech pathologist will support your child and the family by using a Responsive Feeding Approach.

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Complex Medical Conditions/Syndrome

Babies and children with complex medical conditions may experience difficulties with feeding. They may have difficulty sucking and/or swallowing as well as difficulties transitioning to solid foods.

The speech pathologist can support your baby or child’s feeding difficulties if they have been diagnosed with any of the following: neurological conditions, craniofacial anomalies, syndromes, or genetic conditions. Some examples of these include cleft lip and /or palate, cerebral palsy, Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome), CHARGE syndrome.

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