Feeding and swallowing difficulties in children with Down syndrome

M. A. Anil, S. Shabnam, S. Narayanan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The anatomical and physiological characteristics such as neuromotor coordination impairments and craniofacial and structural abnormalities frequently interfere with the acquisition of effective oral-motor skills which can in turn result in the development of potential feeding problems and swallowing dysfunction. The present study was undertaken with the aim of assessing the feeding and swallowing problems, if any, in children with Down syndrome in the age range of 2–7 years. Methods: A questionnaire was formulated and administered on 17 children with Down syndrome (10 females and 7 males) and 47 typically developing children (20 females and 27 males). Results: The present study revealed that feeding difficulties were predominantly present in children with Down syndrome. These difficulties were found in all the three phases of swallow and were greatest for solids followed by liquids. They also had issues with physical, functional and emotional aspects of feeding. Further, the children with Down syndrome exhibited poor orosensorimotor abilities which could have lead to the difficulties in feeding. Conclusions: The study highlights the importance of including feeding assessment in the evaluation protocol of infants and children with Down syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)992-1014
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 01-08-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Rehabilitation
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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