ECHO for Safe Swallowing & Feeding

In School Environments


To provide equitable access to a Community of Practice and best-practice knowledge through professional development, forums of collaboration and a supported learning community to team members who who are supporting children who must be fed safely in school environments.

ECHO for Swallowing and Feeding in School Environments will be held the third Thursday of each month. Sessions will take place from 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. PST. Each session begins with a topic-focused presentation and Q&A time. Case studies will further enhance content objectives.

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More about ECHO

Registration is only required if you are seeking 1.25 contact hour credits for each session. Register below for one or all sessions.

Series Host

Emily M. Homer, CCC-SLP, ASHA Fellow

Students Eat Safely, LLC

Consultant, Swallowing and Feeding in the Schools

Emily Homer worked in the public school setting for 42 years. She was Coordinator of Speech Language and Hearing Services in St. Tammany Parish Schools in Louisiana where in 1996 they established a step-by-step procedure for addressing swallowing and feeding. This procedure has been in use for over 20 years. Ms. Homer works with school districts, state departments of education, school-based SLPs and other team members on establishing a district approved, systematic, team procedure for addressing swallowing and feeding in their districts or states. She was awarded Fellowship of the Association at the 2018 ASHA Convention and the 1999, Louis M. DiCarlo Award for the establishment of a dysphagia team in the schools. She is the author of Management of Swallowing and Feeding in Schools, by Plural Publishing. Ms. Homer has presented nationally at ASHA Conventions and webinars, most recently, Demystifying Swallowing and Feeding in the Schools. She has published articles in LSHSS, Seminars in Speech and Language, Divisions 13 and 16 Perspectives, Dysphagia Café and Feeding Matters on school-based swallowing and feeding issues. Ms. Homer served as chairman on ASHA’s committee on school-based dysphagia.

Upcoming Sessions (Scroll down to access archived sessions)

Thursday, January 20, 2022 8-9:15 a.m. Pacific

Course #3: Using a Team Approach for Addressing Swallowing and Feeding

  • Why a team approach?
  • Working as a team
  • Working with the medical team
  • Roles and responsibilities of team members
  • Comparing swallowing and feeding services in the medical setting to those in the school setting
  • Team models for addressing swallowing and feeding
  • Case management
  • Working with Early Steps, private feeding therapists and other professionals.

Thursday, February 17, 2022 8-9:15 a.m. Pacific

Course #4: “Navigating the Students Eat Safely: Follow the Forms” Procedure

  • Understanding the process and why each step is important.
  • Referral
  • Parent Interview
-Getting a good interview, working with parents, understanding parents

-Interdisciplinary Observation of a meal

  • Conducting a through clinical evaluation
  • Airway status, evidence of respiratory concerns
  • Establishment of a swallowing and feeing plan
  • Training classroom staff
  • Working with food service staff
  • Education Plan meeting
  • Referral for a VFSS
  • Revision of the plan (if indicated)
  • Ongoing monitoring and consultation
  • Therapeutic intervention

Thursday, March 17, 2022 8-9:15 a.m. Pacific

Course #5: Providing Swallowing and Feeding Services in the Schools: Training and Competency Issues

  • Leadership
  • Updating personal professional skills and obtaining competency
  • Procedural Training

-Training core team on the procedure

-Training school staff on the procedure

-Training parents and informing physicians

Thursday, April 21, 2022 8-9:15 a.m. Pacific

Course #6: Types of swallowing and feeding cases in the schools: preschool through 12th grade.

  • Oral sensory and Oral motor therapeutic intervention
  • Progressive disorders and medically fragile children
  • Tube feeding
  • Behavioral feeding disorders

Thursday, May 19, 2022 8-9:15 a.m. Pacific

Course #7: Addressing the Barriers to Establishing a Swallowing and Feeding Procedure in Your School

  • Due Process Concerns: what can you do to minimize risk?
  • Obtaining administrative support
  • Making time in your workload

Thursday, June 16, 2022 8-9:15 a.m. Pacific

Course #8: What Do We Do Next? How Do We Get Started?

  • Taking the information and applying it to your situation
  • Preparing a proposal
  • Choosing a team model
  • Interactive session

Archived Sessions

Course #1: What Administrators Need to Know to Set up a Team Procedure in Their District for Addressing Swallowing and Feeding

  • Current situation for addressing swallowing and feeding in the schools
  • What Administrators need to know
  • Why districts must address swallowing and feeding disorders
  • Who are the administrators?
  • Utilizing a “Top Down Model”
  • Role of upper administration – Supervisor of Special Education and Supervisor of Food Services Programs
  • Role of a district level administrator, coordinator or consultant
  • Preparing a proposal for a district-approved procedure

Link to handouts and session recording (recorded 11/4/21)

Course #2: The “Who” and “What” of Swallowing and Feeding Disorders in the Schools

  • What is a swallowing and feeding disorder?
  • Phases of dysphagia
  • What are the risks at school for children with swallowing disorders?
  • Distinguishing swallowing disorders from feeding disorders
  • What are the risks of feeding disorders?
  • Identifying the signs and symptoms of a swallowing and feeding disorder?
  • Which children in the school setting are high risk for a swallowing and feeding disorder
  • Closer look at the risks: addressing nutrition and hydration in the school setting
  • How to recognize undernutrition and dehydration?
  • The role of the school in under nutrition and dehydration

Link to handouts and session recording (recorded 12/16/21)

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