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.


"We are medical practitioners. The real experts are the parents. Over the last 35 years they have taught me everything I know"
Lucia Braga; Brazil
"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
"Positive and coordinated neuro-rehab interventions for children and young people is proven to bring health improvements; improve independence; reduces the need for sheltered living; decreases vulnerability; decreases drop-out rates in schools; decreases youth offending"
Eric Hermans; Netherlands
"There are problems with getting people into neuro-rehab. Those most in need are often those most excluded due to a lack of socio-economic resources."
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Pediatric neuro-rehabilitation cannot be delivered in isolation. The needs of the child have to be looked at both holistically and within the context of the family unit. Parents need to be empowered to be parents in post-acute pediatric neuro-rehabilitation following brain injury"
The Children's Trust; United Kingdom
"Often families don't have the financial capability to access services. We need to rethink how we deliver neuro-rehab services to children and young people"
Vicki Anderson; Australia
"Thousands of children and young people living in the UK today without the help and support that can make a huge difference to their lives"
Dalton Leong; Chief Executive of the Children's Trust
"My colleague was blown away by the tremendous work your organisation is doing for society."  Social Worker
"Taking brain injured children home causes high stress for families. Disjointed services exacerbate family stress levels."
Deborah Andrews; New Zealand
"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

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

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