Kiran had his third swallow study this morning, first one in Iowa City. The experience was very pleasant overall, and he cooperated better than ever before.
The speech therapist noted what he called micro-aspirations. Every once in awhile, saliva with a tiny bit of food would sneak down his airway. This is likely why he coughs while eating. It wasn’t enough that he was concerned, especially since Kiran does not have a history of respiratory infections.
His recommendation was largely to keep doing what we are doing. Kiran’s eating and swallowing skills will continue to improve as we continue practicing with him. He did say to be mindful about his head position while eating – we need to re-introduce our extra high chair support blankets. And – of course – to continue making sure we give small manageable bites.
The speech therapist also agreed that the majority of Kiran’s nutrition does still need to be through his g-tube. Oral eating right now is about gaining skills.
Unless something significant changes, Kiran will have another swallow study in one year.
I feel we got good information and good direction today. And it was nice to be affirmed in what we are already doing with Kiran around feeding. It may still be a long road, but we are in a good place with it all.