Clinical Forum  |   April 2008
Using Motor Learning Approaches for Treating Swallowing and Feeding Disorders: A Review
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Justine J. Sheppard
    Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY
  • Contact author: Justine Joan Sheppard, 111 Chincopee Road, Lake Hopatcong, NJ 07849. E-mail: jjsheppard@worldnet.att.net.
  • © 2008 American Speech-Language-Hearing AssociationAmerican Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum   |   April 2008
Using Motor Learning Approaches for Treating Swallowing and Feeding Disorders: A Review
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2008, Vol. 39, 227-236. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/022)
History: Received June 4, 2006 , Accepted February 28, 2007
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 2008, Vol. 39, 227-236. doi:10.1044/0161-1461(2008/022)
History: Received June 4, 2006; Accepted February 28, 2007
Web of Science® Times Cited: 6

Purpose: This article discusses children’s development of mature swallowing and feeding as a process of skill acquisition and considers the applicability of motor learning concepts for advancing these capabilities in school-aged children.

Method: The motor learning literature was reviewed, with concentration on (a) concepts that are relevant for the acquisition of skill and (b) structuring practice experiences to optimize learning.

Results: The discussion includes (a) swallowing physiology with a focus on motor task components, (b) normal development of eating skills, (c) factors that may slow or disrupt normal development, (d) motor learning concepts found to influence learning efficiency and performance adequacy, (e) applications to the assessment and treatment of pediatric swallowing and feeding disorders, and (f) an illustrative case history.

Conclusion: Deficiencies in swallowing and feeding may encompass eating, saliva control, swallowing during oral hygiene, and swallowing medications. Motor learning literature provides a rich foundation of evidence-based theory and educational strategies for the development and remediation of motor-based skills such as swallowing and feeding.

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