People with cerebral palsy cannot use the range of physical movement available to most of us. Difficulties may occur in the development of walking, speech and hand function. The movements involved in biting, chewing and swallowing are frequently affected. Children and young people with cerebral palsy may have problems eating enough food to grow and to stay healthy because it is challenging to move their mouths to eat and drink efficiently. Some of them will have problems with frequent chest infections because particles of food or drink enter their lungs when they swallow. These difficulties continue throughout their lives.
We developed the Eating and Drinking Ability Classification System (EDACS) for people with cerebral palsy. EDACS describes five distinct levels of ability using the key features of safety and efficiency:
We developed EDACS by consulting with people with cerebral palsy, parents and experts around the world. EDACS has been tested to see how easy and reliable it is when used by speech and language therapists and parents.
EDACS is the product of an independent research project funded for three years by the National Institute of Health Research, under its Research for Patient Benefit Programme (Grant Reference Number PB-PG-1208-18144). The views expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
Information about EDACS
We are collaborating with teams around the world to translate EDACS into different languages. Please contact us if you are interested in translating EDACS into another language that is not listed here. On completion, the different language versions will be available to download from this site.
We have successfully developed the Mini-EDACS – an extension of the EDACS suitable for use with very young children with cerebral palsy, aged 18 months to 36 months.
Mini-EDACS provides a universal way of classifying and communicating eating and drinking abilities of young children with cerebral palsy.
Download the Plain English Summary of the Mini-EDACS research study.
We received a grant of from Nutricia Advanced Medical Nutrition to complete the study.
The study received ethics approval from the Health Research Authority reference: 17/LO/1557 Project ID: 229819.
If you are interested in finding out more about EDACS please email Diane Sellers.