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Feeding disorders

Feeding disorders in kids usually include eating problems while sucking, slurping, chewing, spoon feeding or drinking from a cup. A child may also suffer swallowing difficulties called dysphagia and have problems moving food or liquid from the mouth, throat, or oesophagus to the stomach. Feeding and swallowing disorders are medical conditions that can deprive the child of complete nutrition. Our feeding therapists in Dubai apply various therapies to solve feeding and swallowing disorders and make the child's eating habits normal.

What causes feeding or swallowing disorders?

The child can suffer from feeding or swallowing disorders if they also suffer from the following problems:

  1. Nervous system disorders - It can cause malfunctions of the tongue, oral and pharyngeal muscles, for example- cerebral palsy or meningitis.

  2. Reflux problems

  3. Being born prematurely

  4. Having congenital heart disease

  5. Cleft lip or palate

  6. Autism

  7. Breathing problems, like asthma or other diseases

  8. Congenital problems affecting head and neck movements

  9. Medicines that reduce appetite and make the child sleepy

  10. Sensory issues

  11. Behavioural problems

Signs and symptoms of a child with feeding problems

  1. Stiff, arched back while feeding

  2. Crying while feeding

  3. Withdrawing and spilling food from mouth while feeding

  4. Unable to suck mother's milk

  5. Having trouble breathing while eating and drinking

  6. Refusing to eat or drink

  7. Eating only soft and smooth textured food

  8. Munching a lot

  9. Holding food in their mouth

  10. Having issues chewing or gulping the food

  11. Coughing, gagging or drooling during meals

  12. Stuffing food and then expelling it from the mouth

  13. Gurgling or breathing heavily after meals

  14. Spitting or throwing up a lot

  15. Some paediatricians also refer children who do not gain enough weight as per their age group to a feeding therapist in Dubai to check for signs of feeding disorders.

How common are feeding disorders?

5-20% of children are diagnosed with feeding disorders. Feeding disorders can exist in the form of muscle, tongue or pharyngeal deformity that cause problems in chewing, sucking or gulping.


When diagnosing, our feeding therapists can conduct a suitable combination of the following examinations.

  1. Examine tongue and mouth surface.

  2. Examine pharyngeal muscle movement while swallowing

  3. Examine poor oral-motor skills and sensory problems

  4. Closely observe the child's behaviour while eating

  5. Take up endoscopic assessments of the mouth

  6. The therapist would also discuss with parents the child’s medical history and development-related issues to reach a conclusive decision.

Treatment of feeding disorders

Feeding disorder treatment differs for all children. Depending upon the individual problems, the treatment module will include:

  1. Feeding therapy

  2. Food swaps

  3. Changing food textures

  4. Prescribing medicines to alleviate reflux disorders

  5. Neuropedia is the first and one of the best pediatric neurology centres in Dubai. Our team comprises highly qualified doctors specially trained to treat various pediatric disorders. If your child also shows any feeding disorders symptoms, visit our centre for pediatric feeding therapy in Dubai.