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Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Service Delivery Considerations During COVID-19

ASHA has developed a series of recorded conversations discussing the specific needs required to provide pediatric feeding and swallowing services in varied practice settings—both for in-person services and via telepractice. In the spirit of interprofessional collaboration, the panelists in this series include an occupational therapist working in early intervention, and speech-language pathologists working in private practice, schools, and hospitals to highlight how considerations vary depending on where they are providing these services.

Early Intervention and Private Practice

Panelist: Judy Delaware, OTR/L, CLC, has been a registered and licensed pediatric occupational therapist and feeding specialist for more than 30 years and is a certified lactation counselor. Judy is president of Positive Therapeutic Beginnings in Colorado. She contracts with Colorado Early Intervention and works closely with Children’s Hospital Colorado. Judy is also the co-founder of Feeding Littles, an online training program for parents and therapists.

Moderator: Adena Dacy, MS, CCC-SLP, Associate Director, Clinical Issues in Speech-Language Pathology at ASHA

School Setting

Panelist: Marianne E. Gellert-Jones, MA, CCC-SLP, is a clinical feeding specialist and speech-language pathologist at the HMS School for Children With Cerebral Palsy. Ms. Gellert-Jones has been working in pediatrics for more than 30 years. She has spent her career focusing on providing speech-language, augmentative and alternative communication (AAC), and feeding/dysphagia services within the pediatric population. Since October 1998, she has been on staff at the HMS School for Children With Cerebral Palsy, where she holds positions as both a speech-language pathologist and as the school’s clinical feeding specialist.

Moderator: Lisa Rai Mabry-Price, MS, CCC-SLP, Associate Director, School Services at ASHA

Inpatient and Outpatient Hospital

Panelist: Wendy Jennejahn, MS, CCC-SLP, is a speech-language pathologist employed at the Kennedy Krieger Institute (KKI) for 20 years, where she currently manages the Institute’s diverse outpatient speech-language clinic serving children of all ages with a variety of neurodevelopmental disabilities. She mentors and supervises certified speech-language pathologists and clinical fellows to perform comprehensive evaluations and functional treatment sessions, including the child’s oral motor and feeding skills. Wendy has been a member of the interdisciplinary Pediatric Behavioral Feeding and Swallowing Program at KKI since 2003, where she provided feeding therapy as part of the intensive programs for more than 5 years. Among other roles, Wendy evaluates children with a variety of feeding difficulties through the interdisciplinary feeding clinic to determine a patient’s candidacy for an intensive feeding program. She also provides outpatient treatment as part of the continuum of care, where she involves the caregivers and trains them to complete a home program to foster more advanced oral–motor skills in their child.  

Moderator: Rebecca Politis, MS, CCC-SLP, ASHA Associate Director, Health Care Services at ASHA.

Resources

From ASHA

From Other Organizations

References

Clark, R. R., Fischer, A. J., Lehman, E. L., & Bloomfield, B. S. (2019). Developing and implementing a telehealth enhanced interdisciplinary pediatric feeding disorders clinic: A program description and evaluation. Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities31(2), 171–188. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10882-018-9652-7

Malandraki, G. A., Roth, M., & Sheppard, J. J. (2014). Telepractice for pediatric dysphagia: A case study. International Journal of Telerehabilitation6(1), 3–16.  https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2014.6135

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