A System-Wide Procedure for Addressing Swallowing & Feeding in Schools

presented by Emily M. Homer

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How can a school district successfully address swallowing and feeding? Addressing swallowing and feeding in an educational setting presents with unique challenges. This session will provide a time-tested, comprehensive procedure that provides the step-by-step process for managing swallowing and feeding in a school setting. This procedure is a proactive approach that includes identifying students, establishing a safe feeding plan, delineating roles and responsibilities and providing the documentation that is needed for a district to be proactive when the primary issue is ensuring safety. This system-wide procedure presented will clarify to school districts how this complex disorder can safely be managed.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Emily M. Homer, MA, CCC-SLP

    Emily Homer, MA, CCC-SLP has worked in the school systems for the majority of her career in Speech Language Pathology. She provides presentations and consultation services to school districts throughout the country on addressing swallowing and feeding in school systems. She is the 1999 recipient of the Louis M. DiCarlo Award for the establishment of an interdisciplinary dysphagia team in her district and served as Chair of the ASHA Committee on Swallowing and Feeding Disorders in the Schools. She is the author of Managing Swallowing and Feeding Disorders in Schools, Plural Publishing (2016). In addition, Ms. Homer has published articles on swallowing and feeding in the school setting in Language, Speech and Hearing Services in the Schools, Seminars in Speech and Language, Communication Disorders Casebook: Learning by Example, and Survival Guide for School-Based Speech/Language Pathologists, and Division 13 and 16 newsletters, and has been featured in the ASHA Leader and Advance magazine

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Swallowing and Feeding Team Student Identification

    1. Swallowing and Feeding Team Student Identification

    This chapter begins the “Follow the Forms” procedure for addressing swallowing and feeding in a school setting. The process of identifying students who should be followed by the team will include the referral (screening) process, parent interview and the interdisciplinary observations (clinical evaluation). This process generates the information needed to establish a safe feeding plan for the students.

  2. A Process of Establishing Safety During Mealtimes at School

    2. A Process of Establishing Safety During Mealtimes at School

    This chapter continues the procedure for establishing a safe feeding protocol for students in the school setting with swallowing and feeding concerns. The information gathered in Chapter 1 will be used to write a safe feeding plan. Each step in the procedure ensures that all areas of managing swallowing and feeding are addressed and documented. All students eat at least one meal a day at school and many eat two meals plus snacks. It is essential that school districts develop procedures for working with the school cafeteria, as well as with the parents when a student brings his/her lunch to school. This chapter will provide information on working with cafeteria managers and parents to provide adequate nutrition and hydration at school.

  3. Program Management During the School Year

    3. Program Management During the School Year

    A district procedure must include a process for students who move within the parish throughout the school year and for students who no longer need the services and who are ready to be discharged. This chapter will discuss the ongoing management of students throughout the school year.