SwallowStudySLP

72 posts
I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1995 with my Master's degree in Speech-Language Pathology. There, I was influenced by great mentors in the dysphagia field, like Jay Rosenbek, JoAnne Robbins, and James Coyle. Once the "dysphagia-bug" bit me, I have never looked back.  Initially, I worked in skilled nursing facilities and rehab centers, but I have worked in acute care from 1999 to now. I started this website/blog in May 2014. I also trained with and worked for SEC Medical as a FEES consultant. I obtained my BCS-S (Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders) in August of 2012. I am a member of the Dysphagia Research Society, Special Interest Group 13: Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders, and the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders (NFOSD). I am committed to life-long learning, and I was granted my 4th ASHA Award for Continuing Education (ACE) in May, 2016. Special interests include: neurological conditions, esophageal dysphagia, geriatrics, end-of-life considerations, oral hygiene and aspiration pneumonia, and patient safety/risk management. I love teaching. I contributed to the field of Speech-Language Pathology by continuously accepting graduate student interns for 3-6 month placements from 2000 to 2013. I have lectured on various topics in dysphagia in the hospital setting, in live webinars, to dental students at the Tufts University Dental School, and on Lateral Medullary Syndrome at the 2011 ASHA Convention. The 2014 ASHA Business and Healthcare Institute was an inspiration. Adele Cehrs, CEO of Epic PR Group, encouraged us seasoned clinicians to take risks and become thought leaders in our field. She reminded us that technology is not a choice anymore, so I jumped in. I have blogs published on Dysphagiacafe.com, ASHAsphere (blog.asha.org), MedBridgeEducation.com and Graymattertherapy.com. I was the official dysphagia blogger for the ASHA convention in 2014 and for the Dysphagia Research Society's annual meetings in 2015 and 2016. Above all, I hope this website is a useful resource and creates a positive exchange of knowledge and innovation.
Funny picture of cow pulling out a root vegetable with his tongue. Tongue exercises are important part of dysphagia treatment for many people with difficulty swallowing (dysphagia).

Lingual Strengthening: History & Rationale

Lingual Strengthening: History & Rationale By Amanda Warren, MS, CCC-SLP (guest blogger) and Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com   Mouth stretches, wagging the tongue back and forth, posterior consonants (like “ga”), blowing bubbles or blowing up a balloon… For decades, our field of swallowing therapy was full of well-meaning clinicians throwing all the tools in their toolboxes at patients to hope to improve their swallow function. This focus on oral-motor therapy lead industry […]

Photo of flowers coming out of a pill box, signifying the hope that there is in 3D Printed Pharmaceuticals. Photo #9546279 © Brighton from Dreamstime.com

Think Outside the (Pill) Box: 3D Printed Pharmaceuticals

Think Outside the (Pill) Box: 3D Printed Pharmaceuticals Meeting the Unmet Need of People with Difficulty Swallowing (Dysphagia) By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com Introduction “He is non-compliant with his medications.” “She is really bad at taking her pills.”   Have you heard a doctor or healthcare provider say that before? Have they considered how difficult it is to swallow pills? (Not to mention the costs and the extreme complexity of taking many […]

picture of typical clear jello cubes made from gelatin, which is not the same as dysphagia training jelly.

Jelly & Jell-O Surprise: What’s Up With Jell-O, Jelly Cups, Dysphagia Training Jelly

Jelly & Jell-O Surprise: Jell-O, Jelly Cups, Dysphagia Training Jelly (Transitional Foods Blog Part 3 of 3) By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com with special contributions by Mari Kato-Nakao, MD, MA, (PhD candidate) on Japanese Dysphagia Training Jelly   Maybe you were just saying: “You had me at the Jell-O,” but I am not talking about Jell-O shots! You are tuning in for Part 3 of my three-part series on how Transitional Foods affect […]

Yield sign with safety first, used here to remind "patient safety first!"

Patient Safety First: Transitional Foods (Part 2)

Patient Safety First: Transitional Foods (Part 2) By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com Introduction Welcome back to Part 2 of my 3-part article on Transitional Foods (in the dysphagia diet framework on www.IDDSI.org). In Part 1 of this blog series, I addressed what transitional foods are, how to test them, ideas on their use in dysphagia treatment, and an example of a transitional food product. Next, it is important to address potential choking risks […]

Cotton Candy Therapy? Transitional Foods & Dysphagia Treatment

Cotton Candy Therapy? Transitional Foods as Potential Dysphagia Treatments By Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com Got your attention with the cotton candy, didn’t I? Imagine wandering through your town’s summer festival sucking that sickly-sweet cotton candy until it magically disappears on your tongue. What other foods start out as a solid and then change or transition into a liquid or a paste with the warmth and moisture of your mouth? (You know the dentists […]

The wheels are turning while you learn all you can in continuing education in dysphagia

Graduation is Only the Beginning: Importance of Continuing Education in Dysphagia

Graduation is Only the Beginning: Importance of Continuing Education in Dysphagia By Ainsley Martin, MS, CCC-SLP, guest blogger for SwallowStudy.com Editor: Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com “There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die, is a process of learning.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti This quote accurately […]

Dysphagia Digest: A blog about the Dysphagia Research Society's 2018 Annual Meeting

Dysphagia Digest (Part 3): What is in Your Dysphagia Toolbox?

Truth is Stranger than Fiction – What is in Your Dysphagia Toolbox? (Part 3) By guest blogger: Amanda Warren, MS, CCC-SLP Edited by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com   Thanks for reading Part 1 and Part 2 of our of our Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction series.  You’ve found the last installment, part 3 in this 3 part series summarizing 5 more sessions at the 2018 Dysphagia Research Society’s (DRS) Annual Meeting. And remember, […]

Dysphagia Digest: A blog about the Dysphagia Research Society's 2018 Annual Meeting

DRS Dysphagia Digest 2018 (Part 2)

Truth is Stranger than Fiction – in the Latest Dysphagia Research (Part 2) By guest blogger: Amanda Warren, MS, CCC-SLP Edited by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com Thanks for reading part 1 of our Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction series.  You’ve found part 2 of our 3-part series summarizing swallowing research from the 2018 Dysphagia Research Society’s Annual Conference. We will cover 5 more dysphagia truths here, numbered 6-10. Be sure to come […]

Dysphagia Digest: A blog about the Dysphagia Research Society's 2018 Annual Meeting

DRS Dysphagia Digest 2018 (Part 1)

Truth is Stranger than Fiction – in the Latest Dysphagia Research (Part 1) By guest blogger: Amanda Warren, MS, CCC-SLP Edited by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com   Mark Twain once said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; truth isn’t.”   This certainly was the case for me as I attended the 2018 Dysphagia Research Society’s (DRS) Annual Meeting in Baltimore, MD.  Many […]

Candles burning as hope for dysphagia

HOPE for Dysphagia: Got Your Speech-Language Pathologist?

Hope for Dysphagia: Got a Speech-Language Pathologist on Your Multidisciplinary Dysphagia Team? By Karen M. Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com This blog is in response to an article published by the Washington Post on February 25, 2018 in the Health & Science Perspective column titled: “Problems swallowing are a big killer, but the treatment can be horrible,” by Drs Douglas Jacobs and Joshua Lang of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. It seems to […]

IDDSI revised the framework March 2019 to include the Easy To Chew Level 7

IDDSI Resources

INTERNATIONAL DYSPHAGIA DIET STANDARDISATION INITIATIVE (IDDSI) www.IDDSI.org IDDSI_framework_with_creative_commons_Mar2019 IDDSI Resources complied by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com & IDDSI Champion Changing the world to this new dysphagia diet global standard will be no simple feat. However, it is crucial that we set goals for our facilities now in order to start our implementation by the goal of May 1, 2019 in the USA, per the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association and the Academy […]

FNCE: Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. This sign shows that the AND and FNCE are 100 years old! This blog is about SLPs learning to collaborate in dysphagia field with dietitians.

Collaboration in Dysphagia

ASHA + AND = Better Together: SLP & RD Collaboration in Dysphagia by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of SwallowStudy.com “Are you going to /fɛnsi/?” (Yes, that was the international phonetic alphabet (IPA) to show SLPs how to pronounce FNCE. I am a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP) who has specialized in swallowing and swallowing disorders (dysphagia) since 1995. I have collaborated with numerous dieticians across the continuum of care, and I did not know what “FNCE” was. […]