Food Refusal Behavior in Down Syndrome: A Case Report
Introduction: Children with Down syndrome (DS) have speech-language-hearing pathology characteristics, among the most common are hypotonia of orofacial muscles, speech delay and hearing impairment. Still little explored by therapist are eating disorders in these individuals, because eating habits development in children with DS is unique and needs to be monitored.
Objective: This study aims to compare food refusal behavior of two children with DS in Speech-language-hearing treatment in a charity hospital from Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Case Report: Two children of the same age but different genders and DS arrived with speech query. According to reports from families, they do not accept any type of food mixed consistency or with more a consistency, being food intake through milk bottle. In evaluation is observed refusal to feed any kind of consistency (paste, liquid, and solid), and changes in tone, mobility, and sensitivity of orofacial musculature.
Results: Therapeutic sessions were conducted with the same objectives for the two patients, extra- and intra-oral stimulation was performed for orofacial structures desensitization which were also trained and oriented to be performed every day at home. It was requested that daily were offered different "baby food” in thick paste consistency. The patient was held on guidance on importance of food in their lives and possible consequences of this refusal. The importance of insistence of food supply and promotion of experimentation was reaffirmed.
Conclusion: Gradual acceptance of different food consistencies were identified in 6 months of fortnightly therapy along with one of children, there was a greater interest, concern, and adherence for family, this being the determining factor.
Keywords: Down syndrome, food refusal, eating habits.