Speech Therapy and Feeding Therapy for Children with Down Syndrome
Only 1 out of 733 children are probably diagnosed with Down syndrome. It’s a chromosomal disorder and is tough to diagnose before birth. Both speech therapy and feeding therapy are necessary to treat a child who suffers from this syndrome. This is because Down syndrome causes speech delays and swallowing problems in children.
Speech Therapy and Feeding Therapy: Toddlers, babies or children who exhibit problems with speech, feeding or eating and children who are recognised for special intervention therapies should be the ones for these therapies.
- These therapies are very useful in order to develop a proper communication ability in the child. This can prove to be very useful as the parents can get to interact with the child and this is very important for parents to develop a bond with their children.
- A child who usually suffers from speech delays and problems with speech (swallowing issues can also lead to speech problems) would naturally get frustrated and can affect his/her behaviour considerably. It is necessary to therefore address this issue of swallowing in children with Down syndrome.
- Feeding issues in children with Down syndrome can be due to issues with motor planning, or physical issues with the chin or tongue and sensory issues. There are also other issues or symptoms (like loss of hearing) which are usually missed due to a lack of efficient diagnosis.
The Diversity among Therapists: The biggest problem with most issues faced by children is a lack of proper diagnosis. Also, speech therapists, physical therapists et. have their own diagnostic assessment which could lead to a delay in diagnosis.
- In any of the above cases, it is also important to address swallowing issues in children which can have a considerable impact on the speech. Here, the role of family dieticians becomes very important.
- Family dieticians can be very useful in developing a feeding therapy for a child who possesses eating issues, food texture issues or who is too choosy with the food (limits the number of foods eaten).