Graduate School

  • Communication Sciences and Disorders Workshop

    Pediatric Dysphagia – Strategies for Eating Well at Home, In School, and in the World

    Angela Mansolillo, MA/CCC-SLP, BCS-S

    Friday March 29th, 2019
    8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Campus Location: Ghosh Science and Technology Center, Room 102
    Cost: $175 (includes lunch)
    Coordinator: Dr. Kristina Curro

    This course is offered for 0.6 CEUs, Intermediate level, Professional area. Satisfactory Completion Requirements: Completion of the workshop. Partial CEUs are not available.

    To register by mail or fax, use the Workshop Registration Form. To register by phone, call 508-929-8127 with your credit card information. (No refunds will be given after 5 p.m. on March 27.)

    Course Description

    Children with dysphagia present with feeding and swallowing difficulties that are always multi-faceted, sometimes misdiagnosed, and often difficult to assess and treat appropriately. Dysphagia therapists, faced with the challenge of managing these complex clients, find themselves working in a variety of feeding environment including school, home, community and medical settings, each of which has its own unique challenges. This course described complex feeding and swallowing disorders as they manifest themselves in children with a variety of diagnoses and will provide strategies for identification of the underlying etiology of the dysphagia. The evidence base for specific therapies was evaluated in light of the available evidence base and in the context of a variety of feeding environments. Participants will have learned practical strategies for improving function and improved understanding of the evidence to support those strategies.

    Learning Objectives

    Participants will be able to:

    • Identify setting-dependent challenges of dysphagia intervention in home, school, and medical treatment environments.
    • Discuss the interplay between oral-motor, gastrointestinal, and respiratory systems and their impact on food refusal in children.
    • Identify the signs and symptoms of pharyngeal dysphagia in children so as to know when instrumental assessment is necessary.
    • Identify advantages and challenges associated with dietary modifications in home, school and community settings.
    • State three strategies for managing hydration in clients with thick liquid interventions in place.
    • Discuss strategies for pharyngeal swallow intervention in public school and home settings.
    • Determine the pros and cons of various oral motor and sensory treatment approaches.
    • Develop a behavioral treatment plan to address problem feeding behaviors.

    Timed Course Outline

    8:00-8:30: Registration

    8:30-9:00: Introduction

    I. Introduction (30 min)
       A. Defining Pediatric Dysphagia
       B. EI and Pediatric Dysphagia
       C. Medical Settings and Medical Issues
       D. Dysphagia in Public School Settings


    II. Dysphagia and Health
       A. Respiration (60 minutes)
          1. Coordination of Breathing and Swallowing
          2. Aspiration and Aspiration Pneumonia
          3. Assessment of Respiratory Function
          4. Interventions – Compensations, Positioning, Respiratory Control, Exercise

    Break 10:00-10:15


       B. Pharyngeal Dysphagia (45 minutes)
          1. Clinical Assessment
          2. Instrumental Assessment
          3. Interventions – Diet Modification, Thick Liquids, Sensory Interventions

       C. Gastro-intestinal Issues (60 minutes)
          1. The GI and Respiratory Systems, Assessment
          2. Interventions – Diet, Medications, Positioning

    12:00-1:00 LUNCH


       D. Managing health issues in non-medical settings (30 minutes)
          1. Dietary Modifications in Public Schools and Home Environments
          2. Tube Feed Weaning
          3. Oral Hygiene

    III. Case Review (15 minutes)

    IV. Oral Motor (30 minutes)
       A. Postural Stability
       B. Assessment
       C. Interventions – To Exercise Or Not To Exercise

    Break 2:15-2:30


    V. Sensory Issues (30 minutes)
       A. Sensory Regulation and Feeding
       B. Assessment
       C. Interventions

    VI. Behavior (60 minutes)
       A. Assessment
       B. Interventions – Environments, Reinforcement, Shaping, and Caregiver Involvement

    ANGELA MANSOLILLO, M.A., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, is a Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing Disorders with more than 25 years of experience. She is currently a senior Speech-Language Pathologist at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, Massachusetts where she provides evaluation and treatment services for adults and children with dysphagia and is involved in program planning and development for inpatient and outpatient programming.

    In addition, she is an adjunct faculty member at Elms College Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders in Chicopee, Massachusetts. Over the course of her career, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings, provided numerous regional and national presentations, and lectured at several colleges and universities throughout Massachusetts.

    Ms. Mansolillo received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Rhode Island College in 1983 and earned her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 1985 from the University of Connecticut.

    Financial disclosures: Ms. Mansolillo is employed at Cooley-Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA and is an adjunct faculty member at Elms College in Chicopee, MA. She received an honorarium for this workshop.

    Non-financial disclosures: Ms. Mansolillo is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing association and is a member of Special Interest Division 13, which focuses on swallowing and swallowing disorders.

    Who should attend:
    Speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, early-intervention workers, caregivers, certified nursing assistants, personal care attendants, speech-language pathology assistants.