Optimizing Collaboration Between Medical and School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists Managing Pediatric Dysphagia Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with the pediatric population, regardless of setting—home-based, early intervention center, hospital, or school—are more likely than not to encounter children in their practice who exhibit dysphagia. The reasons for this are basically two-fold: medical and legislative. Continued advances in medical care and surgical management have ... Article
Article  |   October 01, 2009
Optimizing Collaboration Between Medical and School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists Managing Pediatric Dysphagia
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Claire Kane Miller
    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Aerodigestive and Sleep Center, Cincinnati, OH
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / School-Based Settings / Articles
Article   |   October 01, 2009
Optimizing Collaboration Between Medical and School-Based Speech-Language Pathologists Managing Pediatric Dysphagia
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2009, Vol. 18, 91-96. doi:10.1044/sasd18.3.91
SIG 13 Perspectives on Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), October 2009, Vol. 18, 91-96. doi:10.1044/sasd18.3.91
Abstract

Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) who work with the pediatric population, regardless of setting—home-based, early intervention center, hospital, or school—are more likely than not to encounter children in their practice who exhibit dysphagia. The reasons for this are basically two-fold: medical and legislative. Continued advances in medical care and surgical management have resulted in increased survival rates of infants with very complex medical issues, which often include oral motor, feeding, and swallowing difficulty (Kelly, 2006; McNab & Blackman, 1998). Second, legislation ensuring that all children receive educational services in the least restrictive setting has increased the number of children being referred to the school-based pediatric SLP, given that addressing feeding and swallowing disorders is considered educationally relevant (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association [ASHA], 2007). The role of the SLP may differ in terms of the environment and by what type of service is being rendered, be it consultation, evaluation, or treatment. However, it is the common role and responsibility of all SLPs, regardless of setting, to work together to initiate and maintain ongoing communication and collaboration regarding the components of the dysphagia evaluation and treatment plan. As the number of children who require dysphagia treatment continues to rise, establishing and using organized systems for communication and information sharing between medical and education settings are underscored. The purpose of the following article is to increase awareness of current resources to guide practice patterns, and to offer some practical suggestions to enhance communication between medical and school-based SLPs.

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