Dysphagia Support

Your child may be referred to us if they present with eating, drinking or swallowing difficulties. We have a separate referral form for dysphagia. Your child’s referral will be screened and given a priority rating. You will then receive a letter which will give information on how long your child will have to wait for an appointment.

What happens at a dysphagia assessment?

The assessment will take place at home or your child’s educational setting and will last approximately 1 hour. During the appointment, a therapist will take a case history and observe your child eating and/or drinking and may listen to their swallow using a stethoscope. You may be asked to offer a range of tastes and textures during the appointment and your therapist will advise you on what to prepare beforehand.

Following the assessment, your therapist will write a report with recommendations and will discuss sharing this report with any other professionals who may be involved in your child’s care. You may also receive a mealtime plan or management plan. This will describe your child’s feeding recommendations in detail e.g. positioning, textures to be offered/avoided.

What happens after assessment?

Depending on your child’s needs, they may be offered a review appointment to monitor progress with the recommendations or they may be discharged with the option to re-refer if required.

We do not offer on-going therapy for children with dysphagia, and your child will be discharged when they have the appropriate personalised eating guidelines to ensure that they are able to eat and drink safely.

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