Dysphagia Management in the Schools: Past, Present, and Future: Pediatric Dysphagia
As the number of speech-language pathologists (SLPs) responsible for swallowing and feeding services in the educational setting increases, guidance informing this specialized practice continues to emerge. Although SLPs have provided dysphagia management for children in medical settings for many years, the extension of dysphagia services to the schools is comparatively new. This shift in care delivery for what was previously a hospital-based practice is now occurring more frequently, and in an environment void of extensive medical supports (i.e., the schools). With this transition, evidence-based approaches tailored to children with dysphagia receiving intervention in the school setting are paramount. Components that appear critical to this evolving specialty area include research, best practice guidelines, knowledge and skills training, and collaboration across professionals. This article addresses these pertinent issues by reflecting upon the past, reviewing the present, and planning for the future.