Carma G. Shay M.S. CCC-SLP



Alaska Therapy Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling and Nikiski

functional~Familiy Centered~Fun

Speech language AND FEEDING THERAPY Online and locally servinG  

Kenai, Soldotna, Sterling & Nikiski


  • Signs of reflux, frequent quiet burp, coughing/wet in morning (reflux can be silent)
  • Stress, or negative behaviors happening around feeding times
  • Back arching or body stiffening during feeding
  • Breathing difficulties such as increased respiratory rate during feeding, skin color change such as turning blue,  apnea, stopping frequently due to uncoordinated suck-swallow-breathe pattern, changes in normal heart rate (brachycardia or tachycardia) in association with feeding;
  • Coughing and/or choking during or after swallowing
  • Crying and refusing many foods during mealtimes
  • Decreased responsiveness during feeding.
  • Dehydration, failure to gain weight, or weight loss
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing foods appropriate for child’s age.
  • Difficulty initiating swallowing.
  • Difficulty managing secretions (including non-teething related drooling of saliva)
  • Disengagement cues, such as facial grimacing, body stifenng, finger splaying, or head turning away from food source.
  • Frequent congestion, particularly after meals.
  • Frequent respiratory illnesses;
  • Gagging
  • Loss of food/liquid from the mouth when eating.
  • Noisy or wet vocal quality noted during and after feeding.
  • Prolonged feeding times greater than 30 minutes
  • Refusing foods of certain textures or types.
  • Taking only small volumes, small bites , or over-packing the mouth, and/or pocketing foods.
  • Vomiting (more than typical "spit up" for infants).

These are signs and symptoms of possible dysphagia (swallowing disorder) and or feeding disorder. They are not used to make a primary diagnosis. Diagnosis requires in person bedside swallow evaluation and may require additional imaging completed at a hospital including but not limited to Modified Barium Swallow Study, Allergy studies, and Gastrointestinal Studies these can help assess the safety of a child's swallow. 


Please contact a Speech Language Pathologist if you are concerned about your child's feeding or swallowing abilities. Simple changes can make a word of difference in your child's swallowing safety and mealtime comfort.


Call today for your free, no obligation phone consolation. (907) 395-0348

Signs and symptoms of swallowing and feeding disorders vary based on the age of child, but may include:
Carma is trained in administering and using Beckman Oral Motor Therapy as well as the CAN-EAT Approach ©. With additional knowledge in sensory integration, food chaining and postural support. Individualized feeding and swallowing therapy will be developed around your child's needs. Treatment can often be conducted in the comfort of your own home. Carma's caseload is low allowing adequate time for case management to evaluate all aspects of feeding with ongoing consultations  and collaborations with each child's Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist and Primary Care Physicians.