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Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition which affects muscle tone, movement and coordination. Due to this children with cerebral palsy often have difficulties feeding, swallowing and digestion. Cerebral palsy is caused by brain damage and is usually diagnosed within the first 3-5 years of their life.

Babies and children with cerebral palsy are more likely to have feeding difficulties, be fed through a tube and have a poor nutritional status and growth. A baby or child with cerebral palsy may present with feeding difficulties during breast or bottle feeding or later on in life. There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but with the right support from our team of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and dietitians we can support your baby or child to reach their full potential.

If your baby or child has cerebral palsy and feeding difficulties our specialist dietitians can help. To book an assessment please contact us.

What are the symptoms of cerebral palsy and feeding difficulties?

The feeding problems and symptoms of cerebral palsy vary and change between each individual baby or child due to the nature of the condition. Symptoms of cerebral palsy and feeding difficulties are:

If your baby or child is experiencing any of the symptoms of feeding difficulties, our dietitian led multidisciplinary team can help. You may or may not have had a diagnosis for cerebral palsy yet, but our multidisciplinary team can assess and treat the feeding difficulties your baby or child is experiencing before it gets worse. Your baby or child may be growing normally and not yet exerting signs of malnutrition so you can not get the help they need. To talk to our experienced multidisciplinary team please contact us.

Why do babies and children with cerebral palsy have problems with feeding?

The process of feeding requires the control and coordination of muscles in the face, throat and neck to chew food, make a bolus and then swallow it safely. The muscles used for feeding are trained from birth during the sucking of milk from breast or bottle and the weaning period. If your baby or child has cerebral palsy they may not have the motor skills and cordinatination they need over the muscles in their face, throat and neck which can cause difficulties with feeding from birth. Cerebral palsy can affect the muscles that open and close the mouth and move the lips and tongue, and therefore can result in difficulties chewing and swallowing.

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Cerebral palsy might problems related to feeding my also present at later stages when your child starts becoming more independent with feeding. Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulties with head control, upper limb and hand movements. Examples include children being unable, or finding it difficult, to hold a bottle/cup or learn to use cutlery. Our team can assess your child and put a treatment plan in place to ensure they have an adequate nutritional intake and can growth and develop to their full potential. To book an assessment please contact us.

What treatment can you provide for babies and children with feeding concerns related to cerebral palsy?

Our multidisciplinary team can assess your baby or child with or without a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Our dietitians will take a full assessment of their nutritional intake and treat any of the nutritional problems your baby or child is having. As part of a multidisciplinary team, our physiotherapists, speech and language therapists and occupational therapists can ensure your baby or child with cerebral palsy and feeding difficulties has the safe ability to feed and give a treatment plan according to their abilities. To book an assessment please contact us.

Make a referral

To refer a child to our services this can be done online, or by calling 0161 820 8262 or emailing office@kids feedingteam.co.uk

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We are having an event on the 1st December! As hosted by our paediatric dietitian, she will educate on how to tackle fussy eating (and prevent it!) whilst ensuring your child is getting enough energy and nutrients. Link below to buy two tickets for £10. https://www. eventbrite.co.uk/e/from-fussy-e ater-to-foodie-tickets-50061953651?ref=estw   … pic.twitter.com/ra3MWKIxdP

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