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Augmentative and alternative communication systems can assist people who cannot speak to develop language skills and increase participation and inclusion in daily activities. It’s an important tool that can give people more communication control and decrease frustration.
1. Swallowing is complex – it involves a lot of muscles and nerves in the body.
2. Swallowing difficulty can affect how a person can eat food, drink fluids, and take
medication. It can affect how people can swallow their saliva.
3. Difficulty swallowing can be a danger to a person’s health. It can affect different people in
many different ways. Swallowing difficulty can cause problems with nutrition and with
respiratory health. It can also cause choking and death. It can impact on enjoyment and
4. Swallowing difficulty can increase as people with disability get older – even over 25 or 30
years of age.
Foods and drinks that were once easy to swallow may become more difficult to swallow.
• People might start to say they ‘don’t like’ something they used to like eating.
• Meats and salads might become more difficult to chew.
• Hard or stringy foods might become more difficult to swallow.
• People might also begin to experience more respiratory illnesses, or go to hospital more often.
5. It is important to seek medical attention and the advice of a speech pathologist. Problems
swallowing can also be a sign of other health conditions.
Seek advice as early as possible.