Dysphagia Therapy - The New Generation - LIVE-STREAMED/VIRTUAL COURSE

May 20-21, 2023
8-5 p.m. CST Saturday

8-3 p.m. CST Sunday


$370.00 - Individual Early Registration

[Click here to Register on our Partner's Site]


Course Description

This is a LIVE, IN-PERSON course.


The new world of dysphagia therapy will have to yield greater results and shorter treatment times. Gone is the old treatment philosophy focused on compensatory strategies and downgrading of diets. The dysphagia therapist must learn to see the direct links between anatomy, physiology, kinesiology, and grading therapy up to challenging levels. This course will review the process of the swallow from anticipatory phase through esophageal, including muscle function and nerve innervation. A thorough chart review and medication history is critical to identify key information prior to a swallow screen and bedside evaluation. Sensory changes due to aging and disease processes impacting the patient's nutrition and diet selection will be discussed. Current research will be presented regarding stroke, Parkinson's Disease, ALS, MS, Head/Neck cancer, and other disease processes resulting in dysphagia - what can we expect in each phase of swallow and how it relates to our therapy program. MBS and FEES clips of dysfunctional swallows will be reviewed and reports critiqued. Diet modification/selection, compensatory strategies, and exercises are combined to provide optimum nutrition and hydration, as well as muscle re-education to increase the effectiveness of the swallow. Documentation of patient, staff, and family education and therapy notes will be critiqued for content and skilled therapy documentation.

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this continuing education seminar, participants will be able to:


  • Describe the process of the normal swallow, including the impact of the esophagus.
  • Identify the anatomical structures relevant to the swallowing function.
  • Describe the involvement of Types I and II muscle fibers and the impact of muscle disuse atrophy on the swallow system.
  • Interpret the results of an MBS as applicable to treatment planning.
  • Discuss the decision-making process for both diet modification and diet progression.
  • Discuss the components of a functional evaluation report and goals.
  • Discuss selection of effective treatment plan and exercises.


About the Instructor

Denise Dougherty, MA, CCC-SLP, owns and operates a private practice in Indiana, PA, where she conducts therapy with both children and adults. She is a legal consultant/expert witness in wrongful death/negligence lawsuits involving dysphagia. Denise is a co-editor of Private Practice Essentials: A Practical Guide for Speech-Language Pathologists, published by ASHA Press. She has presented workshops and written numerous articles appearing in the ASHA Leader on the topic of private practice. Denise served as a consultant for The Arijah Children's Foundation in Anguilla, BWI, providing evaluations and therapy programs for special needs children. Ms. Dougherty was an adjunct faculty member at York College of Pennsylvania and Wesley College in Dover, Delaware. She is a past President of the American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology (AAPPSPA), and received the Academy's 2007 Honor Award and 2014 Award of Excellence for her achievements. Ms. Dougherty is a member of the Technical Experts Panel for Quality of Insights of Pennsylvania, working on initiating quality measures for CMS to improve effectiveness, efficiency, economy and quality of services delivered to Medicare beneficiaries. She received her bachelor's degree in communication disorders from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania; a master's degree in communication disorders from St. Louis University. Ms. Dougherty is certified in VitalStim® therapy and is a VitalStim® instructor, has completed additional training in orofacial myology, is a member of the American Speech, Language and Hearing Association and has received numerous ASHA ACE Awards. For more information, please visit www.dldspeechpath.com.


Day One

08:00 - 10:00 Review of the normal swallow system & swallowing anatomy & physiology

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 11:00 Swallow Timing & Coordination

11:00 - 12:00 Impact of Sensory Changes from Aging & Disease Processes

12:00 - 12:30 Lunch (on your own)

12:30 - 02:45 Effective Assessment & Report Critique

02:45 – 03:00 Break

03:00 - 03:30 Effective Assessment & Report Critique - continued

03:30 – 04:00 Diet & Liquid Modifications & Research

04:00 - 04:30 Need for Instrumental Assessments – Which Ones & Why

04:30 - 05:00 Q & A

Day Two

08:00 – 08:30 Review of Instrumental Assessments – What each reveal about the swallow

08:30 - 10:00 MBS & FEES Clips

10:00 - 10:15 Break

10:15 - 10:45 Importance of Report – MBS Imp & PA Scale Score

10:45 - 11:30 Putting it All Together

11:30 - 12:00 Lunch (on your own)

12:00 - 12:30 What isn't working, goals & review of documentation

12:30 - 02:30 Therapy interventions to address dysfunctions & research

02:30 - 03:00 Q & A


Texas Children's Hospital Virtual Event


For More Information


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Who Should Attend

OTs/COTAs, PTs/PTAs, and SLPs.



14 contact hours or CEU's.