Tools for Treating Feeding in the Medically-Challenging Child (Web).

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Course description and overview

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Also known as “The Wighead Course”, this fun, highly interactive workshop for SLP/SLPAs and OT/COTAs will finally teach you anatomy in a way you can understand, remember and really use in assessment and treatment planning. You’ll learn exactly how and why craniofacial anomalies affect feeding and breathing and when you can and cannot help. You’ll understand why g-tube dependence causes sensory changes and what to do about it. You’ll even learn how to use a stethoscope for thoracic auscultation to aid in the detection of aspiration outside of the radiology suite. Then we’ll evaluate some of the emerging therapy techniques and explore the relevant controversies in light of our solid understanding of anatomy and physiology.

Come gain the skills to assess and formulate specific treatment techniques unique to each patient based on their individual anatomy and physiology and leave encouraged and motivated to go back to your medically-challenging patients with real tools to help!

Key Learning Outcomes:

As a result of this presentation, the participant will be able to

  • Finally a way to understand and remember orofacial anatomy!
  • Knowledge of underlying anatomy is what drives therapy techniques.
  • Craniofacial anomalies and their effects on swallowing
  • Feeding the trach-dependent patient
  • Stethoscope: a valuable tool to listen for signs of aspiration in the lungs.
  • G-tube placement: immediate and long-term feeding implications.
  • Learn how to develop your own patient-specific techniques!


NOTE: This is an interactive course! Participants should bring markers (red, orange, blue, green, purple, and black), scissors, a glue stick, a small mirror for labs, and a stethoscope. Inexpensive stethoscopes from the corner drugstore are fine. The $15 to $30 varieties normally work well for our needs. Here is a good Pediatric Stethoscope from Amazon.



At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • List the primary muscle groups and their functions involved in swallowing
  • Demonstrate specific techniques to aid in strengthening each group.
  • Using the pressure/valve model of swallowing, outline the effects of various craniofacial anomalies and tracheostomies on the process of feeding.
  • Discuss the effects of prolonged tube-feeding on feeding development and the goals and methods of therapeutic intervention.
  • Explain the principles of thoracic auscultation and demonstrate basic techniques used in dysphagia therapy.
  • Evaluate the rationale of 3 emerging or controversial techniques used in Feeding Therapy.



11 hours.


Day One:

8:30 Registration / Sign-in
9:00 Anatomy as the Foundation: Review muscle groups for Orofacial
Lab: Build a 3-D Model
10:30 Break
10:45 Anatomy as the Foundation: Review muscle groups Suprahyoids
Lab: Build a 3-D Model
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Anatomy as the Foundation: Review muscle groups Infrahyoids
Lab: Build a 3-D Model
2:30 Break
2:45 Oral Mech Exam based on Cranial Nerves
3:45 Question & Answer
4:00 End


Day Two:

8:30 Registration / Sign-in
9:00 Effects of Craniofacial Anomalies and Tracheostomies on Swallowing
10:30 Break
10:45 Effects of Gastrostomy Tubes on Feeding
12:00 Lunch
1:00 Pulmonary Auscultation: Discuss principles. Listen to examples.
Lab: Practice with stethoscopes
2:30 Break
2:45 New Tools and Controversies
3:45 Question & Answer
4:00 End


About the Presenter:

Jennifer Meyer, M.A. CCC-SLP

Jennifer Meyer is a popular national speaker in the areas of NICU and Pediatric Dysphagia and has received exceptional ratings for her courses. She has over 25 years experience specializing in pediatric feeding disorders, working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, developing outpatient hospital-based feeding programs, providing consultation and program development for Early Childhood Intervention Programs and Home Health Companies, and serving as Assistant Clinical Professor at Texas Woman’s University and Clinical Coordinator of the Center for Assisting Families with Feeding and Eating (CAFFE).


Presenter Disclosures:

Financial: Jennifer Meyer is a co-owner of CEU-Espresso, Inc. and was paid an honorarium for this presentation. She owns a private practice, Feeding and Dysphagia Resources, P. C. in Denton, TX
Non-financial: Jennifer is a personal friend of the developer of the Res-Q Infant Wedge, sometimes mentioned in her presentations.

Sponsor Disclosure:

This course is presented by CEU-Espresso, Inc.

Content Disclosure:

This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.