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Dysphagia (swallowing difficulties)

Physical Communication Cognitive Behavioural / Emotional

Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing food or liquids) is one of the most common health challenges following a TBI. The nerve centres controlling swallowing within the brain may be damaged, or the person with the condition may have cognitive problems and no longer understand what food is or how to eat and swallow food. Dysphagia may result in choking and aspirating (inhaling) food into the lungs which can result in pneumonia.

Treatments for dysphagia include:

  • speech and language therapy to learn new swallowing techniques
  • changing the consistency of food and liquids to make them safer to swallow
  • alternative forms of feeding, such as tube feeding through the nose or stomach

In time most patients who have suffered Traumatic Brain Injury can regain their swallowing reflex.


"Parent-supported interventions following pediatric ABI bring reductions to the cost to society"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"Restoration of anatomical functions and relationships must be done within 2 months of brain injury"
Eyzyon Eisentein; Israel
"Strength-based family intervention after pediatric ABI is essential. Parents need to be equipped with the skills to cope and advocate for the child."
Caron Gan; Canada
"New parenting support intervention showed how parenting style is related to executive dysfunction in children and young people post brain injury. With support parents cope better so the child has a better recovery"
Andrea Palacio-Navarro; Spain
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we delivery neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Children and young people have poor social competence post brain injury due to reduced cognition, executive functions, and emotional control. As a result they are twice as likely to have mental health issues in the future"
James Tonks; University of London
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is prove to bring health improvements; improve independence; a decline in the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"Intensive and individualized approaches work. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't. You have to make it relevant to the child."
Recolo; United Kingdom
"When someone has a brain injury, early access to local, specialist rehabilitation is crucial to ensure the maximum recovery and make significant savings to the state in health costs"
Headway; United Kingdom
"Families and professionals spend time focusing on the negative aspects of ABI. Families need to be properly supported as 'resilience' is key to delivering successful outcomes for children and young people."
Roberta De Pompeii; USA

OUR MISSION: To work to remove (health) inequalities for children & young people affected by acquired brain injury; and provide effective support to their families that makes a real difference.

Council for Disabled Children Lottery Funded