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Neurological conditions

Neurological disorders are diseases which affect the brain, spine or nerves. Most babies and children with a neurological condition will need additional care and support throughout their lifetime.

The symptoms of neurological disorders vary greatly between being physical, cognitive, behavioural or emotional or a mixture of all. The symptoms depend on the type and severity of the neurological disorder that your baby or child has. Some examples of neurological disorders that can affect your baby or child’s eating that we can treat include:

Most neurological disorders are diagnosed at birth (known as congenital) but there are exceptions. Sometimes neurological disorders do not present until the child shows delays in their development at important stages, such as weaning, feeding, walking and talking.

Babies and children with neurological conditions are more likely to have feeding difficulties or food aversion due to the complex nature of their disorder. Your baby or child may find it hard to try new foods or be very specific with what foods they will eat. They may also have a physical barrier to feeding such as an unsafe swallow, lack of control of their facal or bodily muscles and limbs of which our experienced team of speech and language therapists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists can assess.

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

Albie on weighing scales with Saffron

Symptoms of neurological conditions and feeding difficulties

Symptoms are extremely variable and affect each individual baby or child differently due to the complexity of the disorders and the organs they affect. Symptoms of neurological conditions and feeding difficulties are:

If your baby or child has one or more of these symptoms above, they may have feeding difficulties and/or a neurological disorder. If a neurological disorder progresses the symptoms and outcomes of their condition can change and therefore affect their feeding differently. Sometimes your baby or child may be growing normally and not yet exerting signs of malnutrition so you can not get the help you and your baby or child needs. If your child has already been diagnosed with a neurological condition, or even if they have not and you think they have a feeding difficulty, our dietitian led multidisciplinary team can help. The symptoms stemming from neurological conditions are variable and due to your baby or child’s other medical problems, sometimes their feeding difficulties and nutritional status is overlooked. To talk to our expert multidisciplinary team please contact us.

Why do babies and children with neurological conditions have problems with feeding?

A neurological condition is usually a progressive and complex disorder which affects organs that control your baby or child’s physical and cognitive behaviour. Feeding is a complex process which requires many different cognitive processes and muscles in the face, head, and neck to work in synchrony. If any of the processes required for feeding are affected due to the neurological disorder, your baby or child’s intake can be compromised and nutritional deficiencies can develop. Our multidisciplinary team of dietitians, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language therapists will ensure your baby or child is fully assessed and a plan is put into place based on their individual needs.

Jada being fed by Saffron via bottle

What treatment can you provide for babies and children with feeding concerns related to neurological disorders?

Due to neurological disorders being multifactorial and complex, we provide a team which is multidisciplinary and has expertise in every aspect your baby or child needs to manage their neurological condition, nutritional problem and feeding difficulty. Our paediatric dietitian led team will ensure your baby or child’s nutritional status is managed, whilst working as part of a team of occupational therapists, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists to ensure their physical problems and swallow is safe. If you would like to know more about what treatments we offer 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

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