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The Feeding Swallowing Nutrition Team provides an interdisciplinary approach for individuals with intellectual disabilities who have trouble eating, being fed or meeting their nutritional needs. These difficulties may be caused by problems chewing or swallowing, choking, gagging or other dietary issues.
Our team’s main goal is to ensure the individual meets nutritional requirements as safely as possible while promoting independence and ensuring a pleasurable feeding experience.
Feeding is a complex process and we approach it in a cost-efficient, comprehensive manner with a focus on preventative aspects of health.
Our team includes Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Registered Dieticians. We may also consult Physicians, Pharmacists, Dentists and Behavioural Analysts.
Our team reviews feeding and eating history along with nutrition intake, observes the feeding/eating process, looks at positioning and provides information on safe feeding, swallowing practices and nutrition.
We recommend a referral to the Feeding Swallowing Nutrition Team if an individual:
- Coughs, chokes or gags when eating or drinking
- Has a wet, gurgly voice after eating
- Has a history of pneumonia
- Refuses food
- Experiences significant weight loss or gain
- Takes longer than 30 minutes to eat a meal
- Eats a poor variety of foods
- Gorges or rapidly consumes food
You can be referred to our program by a Supported Living Program case manager and require a letter or consult from the primary physician and the individual’s permission.
We also hold Feeding Swallowing Nutrition workshops for caregivers and agencies that address:
- Safe feeding and swallowing practices
- Risk factors
- Oral health
These workshops can be individualized upon request.