Affiliations: [a] Donders Centre for Neuroscience, Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands | [b] City University, the Royal Free Hospital, London, UK | [c] Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Guy’s and St. Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
Corresponding author: Lenie van den Engel-Hoek, Donders Centre for Neuroscience, Department of Rehabilitation, Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, Geert Grooteplein 10, 6525 GA Nijmegen, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 24 3615187; E-mail: Lenie.vandenEngel-Hoek@radboudumc.nl.
Abstract: Children with neurological disabilities frequently have problems with feeding and swallowing. Such problems have a significant impact on the health and well-being of these children and their families. The primary aims in the rehabilitation of pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders are focused on supporting growth, nutrition and hydration, the development of feeding activities, and ensuring safe swallowing with the aim of preventing choking and aspiration pneumonia. Pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders can be divided into four groups: transient, developmental, chronic or progressive. This article provides an overview of the available literature about the rehabilitation of feeding and swallowing disorders in infants and children. Principles of motor control, motor learning and neuroplasticity are discussed for the four groups of children with feeding and swallowing disorders.
Keywords: Pediatric, rehabilitation, feeding and swallowing, dysphagia