Nutrition Support in Children with Neurologic Disabilities
Joanna Soscia NP,
Children with complex chronic conditions commonly face health issues related to feeding and nutrition. In this
paper, we focus on feeding problems and undernutrition in children with neurologic disabilities. Children with neurologic
disabilities often have growth problems related to nutritional and non-nutritional causes. The feeding problems and
resulting undernutrition have diverse impacts on the child’s and family’s health, social well-being, and quality of life.
Appropriate management of the child’s health issues and support of the family in this process is critical. A systems based
perspective on the role of nutrition support programs in the management of children with complex chronic conditions is
discussed. We review nutritional assessment and management including the use of technology assistive devices such as
gastrostomy tubes and the evidence base around their effectiveness. We also discuss the management of gastroesophageal
reflux disease and dysmotility.
Keywords: children with special health care needs, enteral tube feeding, gastrostomy, neurologic disability, nutrition support
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