Cue-Based Seminar

My teaching will be starting again in May of this year and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to meet many of you who share my passion for the babies in the NICU.

Implementing Cue-Based Feeding is a critical initiative in most NICUs today. I am so excited to be teaching my Cue-based seminar in 2013 in Nashville this year on July 19th-20th at Centennial Medical Center.

Dr. Suzanne Thoyre and I will review current research about the preterm infant’s acquisition of feeding skills, the role of experience, growth, dynamic systems theory, and feeding outcomes after intensive care. We will be focusing on giving attendees the skills to use, interpret and apply The Early Feeding Skills (EFS) Assessment Tool, which profiles skills that are not evident, emerging or established.  It assesses engagement, physiologic stability, oral-motor, swallowing, coordination of s-s-b. We’ll use several wonderful videotapes of feedings that we’ll look at as a large group and in small groups, to score infant behaviors, determine interventions and problem-solve their implementation.

Look at my publication on the Early Feeding Skills Assessment Tool posted on my website. You’ll see it is an infant-focused assessment grounded in solid clinical theory and practice. Having the dual perspective of an SLP and a skilled NICU nurse practitioner will give you invaluable insights. We’ll provide take home resources for continued learning and for use of the EFS in your own NICU.

Also, you’ll find my recently published manuscripts on cue-based feeding on my website. They have helped many NICU therapists and nurses guide their team forward. I hope it helps you too!


Hope to see you in July in Nashville!

Pediatric-Swallow Studies

I am excited to bring back my seminar on Pediatric Swallow Studies: From Physiology to Analysis this year! I get so many requests for information about not only how to interpret what we see during the swallow studies but also the hot topics that are unique to pediatrics, such as  thickening, nipples, frames per second, patient compliance J

I am so amazed at the comments at the end of this seminar, from both adult therapists new to Pediatric video swallow studies, and from seasoned pediatric therapistsJ

I think the variety of videos that we watch really helps. Luckily I have captured over the years some great examples of more rare etiologies such as TEF, but also great demonstrations of the evolution of the pediatric swallow. The videos of preterms, then infants then toddlers then young children, help you to see the progression of the swallow. That is so fundamental to understanding what you see radiographically, what it means in the context of the developmental process, and then problem-solving what to recommend.

You’ll have the chance to learn from those attending as well. I often learn something new or gain new insights from the discussions we have as a group, especially with the many case studies with their videos that we problem-solve.

Hope to see you this year!


Swallowing and feeding seminars coming to Boston soon!

Hope you can join us for part of my 5 day series in Concord,  Massachusetts. Hear about the latest evidence-based literature to support your role in the NICU. Learn about the latest sensory-motor techniques for the pediatric population and approaches to common swallowing and feeding concerns in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Problem solve videoswallow studies using the child’s case history and co-morbidities.

To learn more about these seminars and onsite information go to I hope to see there!


Nashville…Tracheostomy and Swallowing

For many therapists, working with Tracheostomy can sound intimidating. I know, because years again that’s how I felt too! When we feel that way, what we need is information, and great mentoring. That’s why I asked Michele Clouse to teach this seminar on Tracheostomy and Swallowing from Pediatrics to Adult!

Her practical experience with trachs spans across more than 20 years and provides a rich foundation for problem-solving.  From the understanding the components of assessment to the complexities of interventions unique to trachs and vents, she’ll help you touch and feel trach tubes, handle them so you feel comfortable, and understand their effect on swallowing. As a Passy Muir Clinical Specialist, Michele brings added expertise. She will show you how to assess for use of the valve, problem-solve its effectiveness and guide you through learning how to work with the team. You’ll leave this seminar with a new found confidence and, if you have experience with trachs, you will gain a stronger ability to problem-solve this population.

If you see infants in the NICU with Trachs, check out the webinar I did with a colleague for Passy Muir on use of the Passy-Muir valve in the NICU for feeding/swallowing. You will find it with the other outstanding webinars provided free on It is a great resource and includes a video of an NICU baby trialing his PMV!  and guidelines that so many therapists have found helpful.

Michele and I hope to see you in Nashville!