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CASD 7313 / 7326X Mecca for Neurogenics: Dysphagia: SPEC 7313

(Formerly SPEC 7313X/SPEC 7326) Prof. Sharon Beaumont-Bowman

About Dysphagia

Course Description: Examination of the anatomy and physiology of the oropharyngeal swallowing mechanism; normal and abnormal swallowing; interdisciplinary approaches to the evaluation and management of swallowing disorders; consideration of ethical and contemporary issues in feeding and swallowing, 30 hours plus conference; 3 credits. Prerequisite: SPEC7128.


Course Objective: The purpose of this course is to develop the student’s knowledge base of information related to the normal swallowing processes and the assessment and treatment of dysphagia across the age continuum. Upon the completion of this course students will present with basic competencies for dysphagia practice and will present with:

  • Knowledge of the Scope of Practice for speech/language pathologists
  • Knowledge of the current health care structure within which dysphagia management is performed
  • Ability to read past and current research studies in order to make appropriate clinically based decisions
  • A framework within which to diagnose and treat dysphagia across the life span
  • Knowledge of normal anatomy and physiology of the swallowing process
  • Knowledge of the medical diagnoses that cause dysphagia and the swallowing deficits that         
  • present with the different etiologies
  • Knowledge of the different types of feeding methods and the benefits and risks of each
  • Knowledge about both the cognitive and motor deficits that contribute to dysphagia
  • Ability to conduct a complete dysphagia evaluation
  • Ability to use information from the dysphagia evaluation to devise a treatment plan
  • Understanding of the different types of treatment options and the ability to select appropriate options
  • Ability to educate and/or train the patient, family and medical staff about the treatment program
  • Ability to work as a member of a dysphagia team and to understand the role of each member
  • Understanding of the different types of concerns that exist across the life span
  • Understanding of the unique nature of each patient and family with regards to cultural issues 
  • Knowledge of ethical decision making and the application to dysphagia management
  • Demonstrate knowledge of theoretical and practical content via successful completion of course requirements 

Course Outline: Information will be presented via lecture, videos, slides, and discussion of material pertaining to theoretical and clinical issues relevant to dysphagia. Students will be required to access journal articles and videos for later class discussion. Students will engage in small group interactions during scheduled lab periods to develop assessment and/or treatment approaches given case studies.