Dysphagia, or a swallowing disorder may include difficulty in chewing, drooling and emptying the mouth. Food and liquids may also enter the airway resulting in either laryngeal penetration or aspiration.
Dysphagia may have serious health implications including pneumonia, malnutrition, dehydration, reflux and weight loss.
An estimated 6 to 10 million Americans suffer from some degree of dysphagia, where more than 40 percent of patients in acute rehabilitation settings are dysphagic.
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Feeding difficulties can begin at birth due to a tongue-tie or lip-tie and can impact the ability to latch onto the breast or nipple. Other difficulties in food management may occur when new textures are introduced. The child may have difficulty chewing, moving the food around in the mouth or drinking from a normal cup. In some cases food aversions. occur, often after difficulties with reflux or a feeding tube or autism. Any of these problems may have a significant impact on family dynamics and meal time interactions.

Dysphagia can result from:

  • Congenital or acquired neurological damage such as cerebral palsy, stroke, or head injury
  • Treatment for head and neck cancer
  • Progressive neurologic diseases such as Parkinson’s disease
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Systemic disease such as scleroderma and dermatomyositis
  • Orofacial myofunctional disorders, cognition, fear, prolonged use of NG Tubes or G Tubes, and sensory issues.

Feeding issues can be caused by:

  • Orofacial myofunctional disorders
  • Cognition
  • Fear
  • Polonged use of NG Tubes or G Tubes
  • Sensory issues

Why Speech Matters is the best fit?

I have an extensive background in evaluating and treating dysphagia and feeding disorders. I worked in hospitals conducting hundreds of the visual imaging studies known as "Videofluoroscopies" or "Modified Barium Studies". These are conducted in the radiology department and are used to observe the food or drink as it moves through the mouth and trachea, down to the vocal folds. It is highly specialized and the best diagnostic tool we have. At the same time I conducted hundreds of "bedside evaluations" which are conducted to determine if an MBS is needed and also during treatments. After interpretation of the results, I was responsible for selecting the safest diet, and training the patient, nurses and family in the appropriate techniques and strategies to be implemented. I continued working with swallowing and feeding issues in rehabilitation facilities, outpatient rehabilitation, private practice, schools and home health.

Personalized Swallowing Solutions

Efficacy studies indicate improvements in swallowing safety (reduced aspiration), improved nutrition and efficiency as a result of both compensatory and direct treatment procedures. My treatment is not one size fits all so I use different strategies for different swallowing problems. The patient and family are both an integral part of the process at every step of the way. They can include:
  1. Aspiration Precautions to eliminate aspiration of  liquids
  2. Introduction of different textures and flavors
  3. Diet changes that allow a person to continue enjoying meals
  4. Exercise programs to strengthen and coordinate muscles needed for chewing and swallowing
At Speech Matters, my goal is to return clients to safe, efficient and pleasurable oral intake.

Get in touch!

I am proud to empower people to express themselves and find the voice inside. Let’s get started on your journey.
Contact Jackie
(410) 295-1616
58 Jones Station Rd Arnold, MD 21012
Also Offering Telehealth
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