*I haven’t posted since November, and there are so many half-written blog posts that I intended to finish and never have (blame the busy timetable of being a 2nd year speech therapy student!), so a lot more content should be getting posted during summer, about my second year of studying speech therapy*
But this blog post I decided to definitely finish because it is something VERY important – raising awareness of dysphagia. Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties & this is something that both children and adults can experience.
If you have read some of my other blog posts, you may be aware that in 2015, I completed a challenge to raise awareness of dysphagia, in which I modified my drinks with thickener for 12 hours, to experience what this is like for people who need to do this in order to swallow liquids safely. (To read about that challenge, click here). This was such an eye opening experience and made me realise how easy it is to take for granted the simple things in life such as being able to swallow safely, without having to think about it or change anything.
This week, I am raising awareness of dysphagia again- this time, by taking part in the Manchester Metropolitan Umiversity (MMU) Speech Society’s ‘Just Blend It’ challenge. We will be modifying our food to comply with the different categories that make it safe to swallow for different individuals: thin purée, thick purée, pre-mashed and fork-mashable.
Some members of the society are modifying all of their meals throughout the week, and some of us are just trying out a few meals in these different categories. We are aiming to spread the message about what dysphagia is and how it can be managed. We also hope that this experience provides us with a better understanding of what life can be like for people with dysphagia, which will hopefully help us provide better support to clients we may work with in the future.
We are also raising money for our charity of the year, which is BASIC (Brain and Spinal Injury Centre) which is based in Salford, and does amazing work! The link to the fundraising page is:
I will be posting to my blog each day about the different meals I have tried, and also about the different categories set out in the national descriptors about what consistencies are safe. I hope that if you read this, you find it informative and that it will provide you with a bit of an insight into what it may be like to live with dysphagia 🙂