Assess aspiration and swallowing
Assess annually for overt or silent aspiration and signs of swallowing difficulty (eg, throat clearing after swallowing, coughing, choking, drooling, long meal times, aversion to food, weight loss, and frequent chest infections or asthma) or when these signs are detected.164
Refer to speech and language pathologist
Refer to a speech and language pathologist to assess swallowing function when signs and symptoms of swallowing difficulty are detected.159
Screen for asthma
Screen for asthma. Consider other causes of a cough or wheeze, such as aspiration.165
Use spirometry or pulmonary function tests to confirm the diagnosis of asthma. These might need to be adapted to the needs of some people with IDD who find these tests difficult.165
Screen for COPD
Ask about smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke. Screen for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as in the general population.165
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