How to Do Successful Step-by-Step Swallowing Therapy

How to Do Successful Step-by-Step Swallowing Therapy


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Speaker: Char Boshart, M.A., CCC-SLP

Course Description

Speech therapy and swallowing therapy are pretty much the same, right? Yes, in some ways, but in most ways no, they’re not. The issues lie in the fact that fundamentally the two functions couldn’t be more different. If you think of the act of speaking as a continuous series of complex, agile, sprightly oral movements, then comparatively the act of swallowing is a compact, more muscularly effortful short series of oral movements. Swallowing has fewer components than speaking. And one totally unique swallowing component, if omitted from our therapy, can actually diminish therapeutic success--it’s that important. Therefore, in addition to need-to-know comparative components, you’ll learn details to implement sequential therapy for the oral stage of swallowing, as well how to interpret the influential factors of cranio-facial bone growth, oral hard tissue and soft tissue, respiratory factors, oral habits, and the correlation of the oral resting posture. Oh yeah, the mouth is a crossroads of characteristics and challenges--but that’s what makes swallowing therapy so very enjoyable.

Learning Outcomes
The participant will be able to:

  1. Summarize the foundations of swallowing and speaking functions: stabilization, mobilization, and resting posture.
  2. Describe the components of normal and abnormal swallowing.
  3. List at least three “obstacles” that can impede the swallowing sequence.
  4. Describe the process of therapy: from building oral capability through carryover.

 Timed Agenda

  • 5 minutes -- Overview & Intro
  • 20 minutes -- The foundations of speaking and swallowing; critical components
  • 25 minutes -- Analysis of the cranio-facial-oral-respiratory systems; potential obstacles
  • 60 minutes -- Swallowing therapy: capability tasks, swallow acquisition, and generalization
  • 10 minutes -- Q&A

Content Disclosure: This presentation will focus on treatment methods related to the use of TalkTools® resources. Other similar treatment approaches will receive limited or no coverage during this lecture.


(pending AOTA approval)

(see TalkTools ASHA CEU Policy and Process for more information)

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