The specific speech and language therapy approach focused on swallowing skills in children with cerebral palsy

Particularități ale intervenției logopedice în contextul tulburărilor de deglutiție la copiii cu paralizie cerebrală

The specific speech and language therapy approach focused on swallowing skills in children with cerebral palsy


There are studies that underscore the presence of swallowing disorders the in pediatric area, especially among children with disabilities. One of the most common causes of this occurrence are neurological disorders such as children with moderate and severe cerebral palsy. Swallowing disorders can have a significant impact on their development and general health. Reduced nutritional intake accompanied by deceleration weight, prolonged feeding, and especially respiratory complications, which are the major cause of premature mortality, are just some of the arguments that stress the importance of early intervention. The American Speech-Language-Hearing-Association (ASHA) reveals the important role of a speech therapist in the interdisciplinary team in initiating a specific intervention, in the context of the particular swallowing disorder. Based on these assumptions the purpose of this paper is to illustrate the particularities of a speech therapist’s intervention in the context of swallowing disorders in children with cerebral palsy. This shall begin with the steps of an assessment and a specific intervention focus on the use of sensorimotor therapy, including the counseling of the child’s family into the implementation of correct posture during swallowing, and the main maneuvers to facilitate swallowing.

Keywords: cerebral palsy, speech therapy, swallowing disorders, postural strategy, sensoriomotor therapy

DOI: 10.26744/rrttlc.2016.2.2.11

Published on line: 15/10/2016


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2001). Roles of speechlanguage pathologists in swallowing and feeding disorders: Technical report. ASHA Desk Reference, 3, 181–199.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2002). Knowledge and skills needed by speech-language pathologists providing services to individuals with swallowing and/or feeding disorders. ASHA Supplement 22, 81–87.

American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2015). Roles of speechlanguage pathologists in swallowing and feeding disorders: Position statement. ASHA Supplement 22, 73.

Bacon, E., Edwards, D.K. (2014). Optimizing function for patients diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. Perspective on Swallowing andSwollowing Disorders(Dysphagia), 23, 123-131.

Benfer, K., Weir, K., Bell, K., Davis, P., Boyd, R. (2013). Oropharyngeal dysphagia and Gross Motor Skills in children with cerebral palsy. Pediatrics, 131 (5), 1553-1561

Benfer, K.A., Weir, K, Bell, K, Ware, R, Davies, P, Boyd, R. (2012). Longitudinal cohort protocol study of oropharyngeal dysphagia: relationships to gross motor attainment, growth and nutritional status in preschool children with cerebral palsy. BMJ Open, 2(4) accesat ull.pdf. în data de 10.02.2016

Erasmus, C.E., van Hulst, K., Rotteveel, J.J., Willemsen, M., Jongerius, P. (2012). Swallowing problems in cerebral palsy. Eur. J. Pediatr,171, pp 409-414. 121

Gisel, E. (2008). Interventions and outcomes for children with dysphagia. Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews, 14, 165-173.

Jones, M., Morgan, E., Shelton, J. (2007). Cerebral palsy: introduction and diagnosis (part I). J Pediatr Health Care, 21(3), pp146-152

Manno, C.J., Fox, C., Eicher, P.S., Kerwin, M.L.(2005). Early Oral-Motor Intervention for Pediatric Feeding Problems: What, When and How. Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Intervention, 2, 3, 146-159

McQuillan, M.K, Coleman, G.A. (2008). Guidelenes for Feeding and Swalliowing Programs in Schools. Connecticut State Departement of Education

Ortega, O. L., Ciamponi, A.L., Mendes, F.M., Santos, M. (2010). Assessment scale of the oral motor performance of children and adolescents with neurological damages. Journal of Oral Reabilitation, 36, 653-659.

Palisano, R., Rosenbaum, P., Walter, R.S., Russell, D., Wood, E., Galuppi, B. (1997) Development and reliability of a system to classify gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy. Dev. Med.

Child Neurol, 39(4), pp 214-223. RCSLT (2014). Resource manual for commissioning and planning services for SLCN. Dysphagia.

Robănescu, L. (2014). Disfuncții în alimentația sugarului și copilului mic. Revista de Neurologie și Psihiatrie a Adolescentului din România, 17 (3), 39- 52