1:00 pm - 3:15 pm

Target Audiences
Speech-Language Pathology
Communication Health Assistant


Time & Length of Session
Afternoon Sessions

Relationships Between Pediatric Feeding-Swallowing and Speech-Language: Theory, Recent Data and Clinical Implications

The language used in the descriptions reflects the language of the sessions.

Although often viewed as separate clinical identities, recent theoretical and clinical research data suggest potentially important associations between pediatric feeding-swallowing difficulties and developmental language disorder. This growing body of knowledge reflects what has been known for some time by front-line practicing clinicians: that problems in feeding-swallowing and speech-language often co-occur in young patients. In this presentation, we will discuss developing theoretical and clinical research models that suggest close ties between feeding-swallowing and speech-language, particularly developmental language disorder. We will consider the possibility that earlier occurring feeding-swallowing difficulties might signal later language impairments. We will also consider whether targeting feeding-swallowing difficulties might have positive distributed effects on language development. Finally, we will discuss additional clinical implications, including how this information might influence professional practice policies.

Learning objectives:

  1. Understand the developmental trajectory of feeding-swallowing and speech-language in the infant and young child.
  2. Be able to explain the theoretical underpinnings of the potential cross-system interactions between feeding-swallowing and speech/developmental language disorders.
  3. Receive an overview of recent experimental data demonstrating a high occurrence of feeding-swallowing difficulties in developmental language disordered children.
  4. Consider clinical models that target pediatric feeding-swallowing difficulties and language disorders to capitalize on potential cross-system benefits.

David H. McFarland