Question: I recently received a comment with a question about how best to develop the skills to provide pediatric feeding and swallowing intervention (as a working professional, with limited ability to travel). Many therapists (myself included) graduated before classes were introduced into the grad school curriculum.
The reader asked for suggestions for online courses or programs or books for independent study?
Answer: Here are some ideas for expanding your knowledge:
Pediatric Feeding and dysphagia work is a sub-speciality in the therapeutic world but one with great need! The frequency of these problems in the pediatric population is increasing as is the need for good therapists.
- ASHA (American Speech, Language, and Hearing Association) has a recent webinar for purchase by Joan Arvedson about peds feeding.
Evaluation and Management of Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing
- Jennifer Morris Meyer : You should also check out Jennifer Morris Meyer’s page, she has some online webinars.
- Book by therapro:
Pediatric Feeding Disorders: Evaluation and Treatment
Edited by Kelly VanDahm, MS, CCC-SLP, ISBN: 978-1-933940-19-9
Description : Brings together 14 leading clinicians, the latest research, and interdisciplinary perspectives on pediatric feeding disorders!
- My blog: pediatricfeedingnews.com, if you want info on a topic email me and I’ll be happy to write a post about it or find an expert who will! Check out my page on links we like, that has a list of websites with information.
- Observation: observe a hospital based SLP/OT who does a lot of feeding intervention, a feeding team, or an early intervention therapist who is doing feeding therapy. Observe other professionals working in the area of feeding such as dieticians, psychologists, and GI doctors.
- Mentor: Find a mentor locally to help you learn. You may need to pay them for their time but learning from someone hands on may be the best way to learn.
- Bring a feeding course to your area: Talk with your state association about bringing a course to your area or to your state association meeting. Another idea is to host a feeding course (for example, I give my 2 day course privately if an organization contracts with me or through motivations, http://motivationsceu.com where companies host the course. Many companies offering feeding courses do something similar.
Last thought: Just remember it takes time to learn a new skill and to develop expertise. Feeding problems are complicated but working in this area is also very rewarding. Good luck!