Monday, February 23, 2015

Girl Scouts and AAC

One of my favorite activities outside of work is working with my Girl Scout Troop for girls with special needs! These girls are amazing and I learn so much from them at each troop meeting. One of the mothers in my troop was kind enough to give me permission to share a special video of her daughter optimally using her AAC device in our troop meeting.


This is a great example of making AAC not only functional but also personal! Have you had a parent go above and beyond to make the AAC device work for their child? What are some of your success stories?


Images For Girl Scout Law Printable. (n.d.). Retrieved February 24, 2015, from

Monday, February 16, 2015

Just Keep Swimming - Dissertation Blog Post 2

Dissertation Blog Post 2

Writing a literature review can be an overwhelming process. I have a feeling that throughout this entire dissertation process I will need to keep telling myself to “just keep swimming.” Luckily, I am working with a University that provides amazing supports such as an incredible library to access, amazing librarians and instructors to help guide you to the right resources and fantastic classmates who are 100% supportive of one another.

One of the biggest challenges I had with starting my literature review was knowing actually where to begin.  I found, as recommended in my course work, that creating a literature review map was the best place to start. I had a general rough draft in mind for this map but it wasn’t until after I had a scheduled visit with a librarian from the University that I was able to create my map. After she showed me a few tips and tricks to searching for not only peer reviewed journal articles but also similar dissertations, I was off! I found that the literature review map was so helpful in organizing my thoughts. I am incredibly thankful for my classmates that found the website This is a website designed to help in create the map in an electronic format. You can see my literature review map below or you can access the link here.

The librarian that assisted me provided me some great insight into how to search for needed journal articles within the library.  From my meeting I took away the appreciation of the saying “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”  I was in awe of how many different phrases I could use to search for my topic. Some of my search parameters included: deglutition, swallow, dysphagia, modified barium swallow studies, clinical swallow evaluation, bedside swallow evaluation, fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallow, malnutrition & dysphagia, aspiration & dysphagia, and choking & dysphagia.  As one can imagine I have a lot of reading to do!

I am feeling more confident after creating my literature review map. I feel like I will be able to find and review articles in a systematic manner. My next challenge will be to find a theoretical framework and to resolve my issues with EndNote. I think by reading previous dissertations with similar topics I may be able to find a good theoretical framework. And I hope that with maybe another consultation with one of the librarians that EndNote will accept my edits to my references! Wish me luck!


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. (2001). Roles of speech-language pathologists in swallowing and feeding disorders: Technical report. doi:10.1044/policy.TR2001-00150
Antonios, N., Carnaby-Mann, G., Crary, M., Hubbard, H., Hood, K., Miller, L., . . . & Xavier, A. (2010). Analysis of a physician tool for evaluating dysphagia on an inpatient stroke unit: The modified mann assessment of swallowing ability. Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Diseases, 19(1), 49-57. doi:10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2009.03.007
Bonilha, H. S., Simpson, A. N., Ellis, C., Mauldin, P., Martin-Harris, B., & Simpson, K. (2014). The one-year attributable cost of post-stroke dysphagia. Dysphagia, 29(5), 545-552. doi:10.1007/s00455-014-9543-8
Bottino-Bravo, P., & Thomson, J. . (2008). When it's a hard act to swallow. Retrieved from,
Cabre, M., Serra-Prat, M., Palomera, E., Almirall, J., Pallares, R., & Clavé, P. (2010). Prevalence and prognostic implications of dysphagia in elderly patients with pneumonia. Age and ageing, 39(1), 39-45.
Daniels, S. K., Schroeder, M. F., DeGeorge, P. C., Corey, D. M., Foundas, A. L., & Rosenbek, J. C. (2009). Defining and measuring dysphagia following stroke. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 18(1), 74-81. doi:10.1044/1058-0360(2008/07-0040)
Farneti, D., & Consolmagno, P. (2007). The swallowing centre: rationale for a multidisciplinary management. Acta otorhinolaryngologica italica, 27(4), 200.
Groher, M., & Crary, M. (2010). Dysphagia: Clinical managment in adults and children. Maryland Heights, MO: Mosby Elsevier.
Leder, S. B., Sasaki, C. T., & Burrell, M. I. (1998). Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of dysphagia to identify silent aspiration. Dysphagia, 13(1), 19-21. doi:10.1007/PL00009544
Lim, S. H. B., Lieu, P. K., Phua, S. Y., Seshadri, R., Venketasubramanian, N., Lee, S. H., & Choo, P. W. J. (2001). Accuracy of bedside clinical methods compared with fiberoptic endoscopic examination of swallowing (fees) in determining the risk of aspiration in acute stroke patients. Dysphagia, 16(1), 1-6. doi:10.1007/s004550000038

Logemann, J. (1983). Evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders. San Diego, CA: College-Hill Press.
Marik, P. E., & Kaplan, D. (2003). Aspiration pneumonia and dysphagia in the elderly. Chest, 124(1), 328-336. doi:10.1378/chest.124.1.328
McCullough, G. H., Wertz, R. T., Rosenbek, J. C., Mills, R. H., Ross, K. B., & Ashford, J. R. (2000). Inter- and intrajudge reliability of a clinical examination of swallowing in adults. Dysphagia, 15(2), 58-67. doi:10.1007/s004550010002
Mozaffarian, D., Benjamin, E. J., Go, A. S., Arnett, D. K., Blaha, M. J., Cushman, M., . . . & Turner, M. B. (2015). Heart disease and stroke statistics—2015 update: A report from the american heart association. Circulation, 131(4), e29-e322. doi:10.1161/cir.0000000000000152
Pace, C. C., & McCullough, G. H. (2010). The association between oral microorgansims and aspiration pneumonia in the institutionalized elderly: Review and recommendations. Dysphagia, 25(4), 307-322. doi:10.1007/s00455-010-9298-9
Patterson, J. M., Hildreth, A., McColl, E., Carding, P. N., Hamilton, D., & Wilson, J. A. (2011). The clinical application of the 100mL water swallow test in head and neck cancer. Oral oncology, 47(3), 180-184.
Sandidge, J. (2009). The Modified Barium Swallow Impairment Profile (MBSImP): a new standard physiologic approach to swallowing assessment and targeted treatment. Perspectives on Swallowing & Swallowing Disorders (Dysphagia), 18(4), 117-122.
Shaw, S. M., & Martino, R. (2013). The normal swallow: muscular and neurophysiological control. Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America, 46(6), 937-956. doi:10.1016/j.otc.2013.09.006
Singh, B. (2011). Impaired swallow in COPD. Respirology, 16(2), 185-186. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1843.2010.01903.x
Wilson, R. D., & Howe, E. C. (2012). A cost-effectiveness analysis of screening methods for dysphagia after stroke. PM&R, 4(4), 273-282.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cranial Nerve Continuing Education

Course: Oral Mechanism/Cranial Nerve Examination: What Every SLP Needs to Know
Presented by: Dr. Kelly Dailey Hall
Cost: $34
Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Test: Must pass with 80% accuracy
ASHA Approved? YES!

This evening I just finished the Oral Mechanism/Cranial Nerve Examination CEU through Northern Speech Services. This course was a great review from my course work when I was earning my masters degree. The course covers function and assessment of Cranial Nerves V, VII, IX, X, XI, and XII. Dr. Hall provided wonderful pictures and videos to demonstrate the assessments. I personally love the Oral-Mechanism Examination form that you can print to use in real evaluations. I also love the examples provided at the end of the course of how to write up your findings.

There were only two negative parts of this presentation. The information was presented too quickly. I frequently had to pause the course and backtrack to listen again and to be sure that I wrote all of the notes that I needed. The second negative part was that when I did pause the presentation a medium sized box would appear in the middle of the screen that would ask if I wanted to resume playing, start at the beginning, or go back to the main page. The problem with this box is that it blocked the content of the slide behind it thus making it difficult to take notes.

Overall the course was great and I would recommend it.

What do your Ora-Mechanism Evaluations look like?


#e72  Oral Mechanism/Cranial Nerve Examination: What Every SLP Needs To Know. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

Monday, February 2, 2015

Cranial Nerves

Cranial Nerves

Earlier in December Dysphagia Café created a great musical video reminding all of us of our friends the 12 Cranial Nerves! I loved this video so much (shown below) that I decided to focus this blog post on the 12 Cranial Nerves! Please be sure to check out this great video and it is a fantastic website with great resources!

The 12 Cranial Nerves

The amazing thing about the cranial nerves is that they can be made of sensory neurons, motor neurons, or both. Each cranial nerve also has a very specific function. How oh how can we keep all of that information straight?  Well there are several helpful websites available to assist in learning the 12 Cranial Nerves. Below you will see a few charts and graphs that are incredibly helpful!

 The Encyclopedia Britannica provides an amazing graphic of the 12 Cranial Nerves as well as a brief description.

Within the website “almostadoctor” there is this very detailed chart available that breaks down cranial nerves even further.

Finally, I found that the American Brain Tumor Association’s website was chalk full of fantastic information for the anatomy of the brain.

What is the use of knowing these cranial nerves? Stayed tuned for next week when I review a CEU course by Northern Speech Services titled “Oral Mechanism/Cranial Nerve Examination: What Every SLP Needs To Know” presented by Dr. Kelly Hall CCC-SLP.

Brain Structure. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2014, from
Cranial nerve. [Art]. In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from
Leach, T. (2014, October 21). Cranial Nerves. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from
Waller, J. (2014, December 23). The 12 Cranial Nerves-Dysphagia Cafe Unplugged. Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

#e72  Oral Mechanism/Cranial Nerve Examination: What Every SLP Needs To Know. (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2014, from

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shaving Cream Fun!

This Week in Speech ~ Shaving Cream Fun!

This week in speech we decided to get a little messy! With shaving cream, a lunchroom tray, lots of towels, and various treatment plans we were able to have a lot of fun!

 My department orders these tiny shaving cream canisters. Simply spray onto a surface that can be wiped off and you are set for fun!

 There are so many options that you can use this in therapy! Here are just a few ideas!
  1. Articulation – you or your student draw out target words to practice
  2. Reading sight words
  3. Spelling
  4. Visual memory – write it down, draw it out, and then wipe it off – recall later
  5. Story telling
  6. Receptive language – identifying drawings
  7. Vocabulary – Learning about the vocabulary terms of “soft” “messy” “fluffy” and “white.” Drawing/writing synonyms and antonyms. Expanding vocabulary knowledge by letting the child draw or try to explain the feature that you drew.
  8. Receptive language – following directions through drawing i.e., make a circle before you draw a square.
  9. Groups – if you have a group you can turn this into a race, a collaborative effort (1 child draws while the other gives the directions), etc.
  10. Playtime/Game time! I always like to reward my patients with a fun game if they have completed all of their work.

Cautions: If you have a child with sensory concerns then they may not like this activity. If you have a child that mouths objects then you may want to consider using whip cream instead of shaving cream. You also want to be sure that you clean well between uses!