|Volume 11, Issue 4, Pages 248-252 (August 2001)|
Knowledge of the development of normal feeding and the process of swallowing is essential for understanding the feeding problems of disabled children. The effect of disability on the child and their family should be appreciated, as well as the direct consequences for feeding. Feeding problems may be exacerbated by co-existing medical conditions. Early recognition of feeding problems is important and relies on careful history taking and a high index of suspicion. Poor growth may be a consequence of undernutrition, rather than an effect of the child’s condition. Management is usually best accomplished within the setting of a multi-disciplinary team. Options such as oral supplementation and enteral feeding are used to improve nutritional status. Early intervention and alleviation of malnutrition is important, as developmental outcome may be sensitive to nutritional status.