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Neurological dysphagia

Dysphagia is another term for swallowing difficulties. There are many different types of dysphagia, including neurological dysphagia. Neurological dysphagia occurs when a child has a neurological condition causing a swallowing problem.

The Kids Feeding Team will work closely with a dysphagia trained speech and language therapist in order to diagnose and treat neurological dysphagia.

What is neurological dysphagia?

Neurological dysphagia occurs when there is any swallowing difficulties caused by a neurological condition. Neurological conditions can cause a variety of different swallowing difficulties, depending on the part of the swallow effected. Neurological conditions may affect a child's ability to co-ordinate their movement or may affect involuntary movements of the oesophagus (food pipe), causing risk of aspiration (when liquid and food go through the windpipe into the lungs, rather than down the oesophagus and into the stomach).

The Kids Feeding Team will work hard to ensure that swallowing difficulties as a result of a neurological condition are minimised or reduced in order to help achieve a safe and effective swallow. We are able to assess, treat and monitor neurological dysphagia and advise on how best to support your child's needs.

What causes neurological dysphagia?

Neurological dysphagia can occur at any age. Children can be born with neurological conditions that cause swallowing problems or they may acquire this in later childhood development. Common neurological causes of swallowing difficulties include, cerebral palsy, childhood stroke, autism and developmental disorders.

Macie eating banana

The Kids Feeding Team will work hard to assess the causes of neurological dysphagia in each child in order to gain more understanding of the nature of your child’s problems. By identifying the underlying cause of the neurological dysphagia we will be able to decide how best to help.

What problems caused by neurological dysphagia can we help with?

Children that experience neurological dysphagia may have the following problems with swallowing that our team of dieticians, speech and language therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists can help minimise and support:

How can the Kids Feeding Team help a child with neurological dysphagia?

The Kids Feeding Team will be able to provide many benefits to a child that experiences neurological dysphagia. If left untreated neurological dysphagia can potentially cause malnutrition, dehydration and pneumonia from aspiration. These side effects can cause many other complications, potentially life-threatening which our team can prevent. Through careful assessment and bespoke treatment options, we would aim to:

We make every effort to help and support for continued oral feeding as we know this is the preferred method. However, on occasions there may be indication for tube feeding if it is unsafe for a child to be fed orally. On most occasions, after being tube fed a child will be able to return to oral feeding once it is safe to do so.

Macie with Jade and sister on sofa

What would treatment for neurological dysphagia involve?

Our multidisciplinary Kids Feeding Team will use various treatment options to support a child with neurological dysphagia, this might include one or a number of:

Jada on Saffron's lap

How do I arrange an assessment for neurological dysphagia?

If you would like to know more about the services we offer for neurological dysphagia or to arrange an assessment with a member of our multidisciplinary Kids Feeding Team, do not hesitate to email or call 0161 820 8262.


Neurological dysphagia occurs when symptoms of a neurological condition are affecting a child's ability to swallow safely and effectively. Neurological dysphagia can occur at any time through childhood development but the most common cause in children is cerebral palsy and autism. The Kids Feeding Team are able to identify the root neurological cause of the swallowing problems and can help ensure a safe and effective swallow through different therapeutic strategies.

If you or your child experience any difficulties with swallowing and feel that you would benefit from seeing our Kids Feeding Team, email or call 0161 820 8262.

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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