The Role of the School-Based Speech-Language Pathologist Serving Preschool Children With Dysphagia A Personal Perspective Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   January 01, 2000
The Role of the School-Based Speech-Language Pathologist Serving Preschool Children With Dysphagia
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Randy Moskowitz Kurjan
    Montgomery County Public Schools, Rockville, MD
Article Information
Swallowing, Dysphagia & Feeding Disorders / School-Based Settings / Clinical Forum: Identification and Management of Dysphagia
Clinical Forum   |   January 01, 2000
The Role of the School-Based Speech-Language Pathologist Serving Preschool Children With Dysphagia
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2000, Vol. 31, 42-49. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3101.42
History: Received February 10, 1999 , Accepted September 27, 1999
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, January 2000, Vol. 31, 42-49. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.3101.42
History: Received February 10, 1999; Accepted September 27, 1999

Increasing numbers of medically complex children are being referred to preschool programs managed by the public school systems. Public school speech-language pathologists have the responsibility of evaluation and intervention in the area of dysphagia. Although the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association's Scope of Practice includes dysphagia, there is some controversy about whether this more traditional medical intervention belongs in the educational model. In the educational setting, information and techniques must be accurately and safely transmitted to the entire team working with the child. Ongoing communication between the medical community and the school staff is crucial. The increased responsibility of the speechlanguage pathologist brings with it a variety of concerns. These include safety, mandatory cardiopulmonary resuscitation training, awareness of dangerous mealtime practices, specific education in pediatric dysphagia intervention, liability, and financial support.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT
The author wishes to thank the children and families served in these programs. Gratitude is extended to Marianne Howard and the staff of MCITP for their ongoing support and knowledge that they contributed. Also, thanks to Julie Bader, Tina Williams, and Pam DeFosse for assistance in disseminating the questionnaire and survey to all respondents. Sincere appreciation is given to Tom O′Toole for more than 20 years of support and mentoring and for the opportunity to write this article. Finally, the author gratefully acknowledges the constant encouragement by David Kurjan and his assistance in reviewing the manuscript.
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