A proposed multidisciplinary approach for identifying feeding abnormalities in children with cerebral palsy

J Child Neurol. 2012 Jun;27(6):708-12. doi: 10.1177/0883073811424083. Epub 2011 Oct 21.


Children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, such as cerebral palsy, frequently have associated oral motor dysfunction, which leads to feeding difficulties, risk of aspiration, prolonged feeding times, and malnutrition with its attendant physical compromise. The authors propose a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment, including neurological and dysphagia examination and ear, nose, and throat examination, to evaluate clinical indicators and severity of feeding impairment in children affected by neurodevelopmental disorders. A representative sample of 40 children with cerebral palsy (spastic, dyskinetic, or mixed), intellectual disability, and feeding problems was included in the study. A specific multidisciplinary evaluation and standardized mealtime observation in patients with cerebral palsy appear feasible and appropriate to recognize proactive indicators of dysphagia and to establish personalized programs of gastric and rehabilitative interventions.

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Palsy / complications*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology
  • Deglutition Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Neurologic Examination
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sucking Behavior / physiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires