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First Bite: A Speech Therapy Podcast

Join Speech-Language Pathologist: Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC for First Bite - Fed, Fun and Functional Resources for the Pediatric SLP. Each episode is available for .1 ASHA CEUs through SpeechTherapyPD.com. If you're a SLP who has more questions than answers when it comes to treating your medically complex/fragile pediatric patients, this podcast is for you! Michelle offers her own unique insights and interviews colleagues that are experts in their respective fields with the goal of inspiring and illuminating all aspects of diagnosing and treating this unique population.

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30: Never Fear… Dr. Kay Toomey and SOS Feeding are Here! - Dr. Kay A. Toomey

In this episode Michelle is joined by none other than THE Dr. Kay Toomey, President of Toomey & Associates, Inc., Clinical Consultant to the Feeding Clinic at STAR Institute, and developer of the SOS Approach to Feeding. In case you haven’t heard of it, the SOS Approach to Feeding, is a bottom-up, tip-toe in the water of feeding, functional centered program for assessing and treating children with feeding problems, based out of CO. Worried about jumping two feet first into the water of feeding or dysphagia therapy, or tossing your patient into the deep in? Then sit back and relax and let Dr. Toomey resolve your fears and offer hope for functional treatment!

1hr 7mins

16 Jan 2019

Rank #1

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40: Functional Feeding From Birth - Diane Bahr, MS, CCC-SLP, CIMI

In this episode Michelle and Diane tackle typical development for a healthy growing mouth, as well as a compare contrasting factors in an evaluation between bottle and breast-feeding. They round out this dynamic hour with a crash course on which team member to consult with if systems are starting to go awry.

1hr 10mins

27 Mar 2019

Rank #2

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16: Banishing Basic “Feeding” Myths in the World of Pediatrics - Erin Forward, MSP, CF-SLP

In this episode, Michelle is joined by the gifted Mrs. Melissa Monteil, MS CCC-SLP, from the Medical University of South Carolina and the Evelyn Tramell Institute for Voice and Swallowing.  In this lecture, we discuss the process of prenatal diagnosis of cleft and dispel misconceptions regarding feeding a little one with a cleft, especially in that first critical year.  Not only does this amazing woman specialize in the subject matter for her career, but also she also freely gives of her spare time and treats patients through Global Smile Foundation around the world. Be sure to have your questions ready for this dynamic guest interview! 


26 Sep 2018

Rank #3

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4: Pediatric Dysphagia Evaluation in Home Health…. Wait, What… We Can do That… and Bill For It? - Erin Forward, MSP, CF-SLP

Michelle is joined by the lovely Erin Forward of Rochester, NY, where they tackle hard questions facing the world of pediatric speech therapy. In this episode, the roles are reversed and Erin asks Michelle about special considerations when completing a pediatric dysphagia/feeding eval in the home health/natural environment setting.


4 Jul 2018

Rank #4

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25: Teletherapy and Early Intervention… You Can Do It Too! - Jennifer Ruckner, MS, CCC-SLP

In this episode Michelle is joined by the dynamic co-director Jennifer Ruckner, MS CCC-SLP, of Tots to Teens Therapy Services, of Northern Virginia. Jennifer, a seasoned Early Interventionist who is also a Community Ambassador for Feeding Matters, a non-profit, parent founded organization, actually specializes in Telepractice for the Early Intervention and School Age pediatric population. Yes, you read that correctly, we can do telepractice in the world of EI! Join Michelle in this episode as a whole new world of EI ST is illuminated by the lovely Jennifer!


5 Dec 2018

Rank #5

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82: Adventures in Feeding with Melanie Potock - Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

In this episode Michelle is joined by the one and only Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, author of the critically acclaimed and widely successful books “Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating” (2015),“Baby Self-Feeding: Solutions for Introducing Purees and Solids to Create Lifelong Healthy Eating Habits (2016)”. And the popular food activity book, titled “Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Kids Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes (2018)”. Melanie serves up a scrumptious hour jammed pack with busting “Baby-Led Weaning” myths, elaborating on her “3 Easy E’s”, and highlighting some of her favorite family mealtime tips from other cultures and how they can encourage healthy eating habits for your little one…as well as infuse joy into a home!

1hr 3mins

8 Jan 2020

Rank #6

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69: Food Chaining with Cheri Fraker, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC

In this episode Michelle is joined by the One and Only Cheri Fraker, MS CCC-SLP, CLC! That’s right, the guru behind “Food Chaining: The proven 6-Step Plan to Stop Pick Eating, Solve Feeding Problems, and Expand Your Child’s Diet”. This phenomenal book has indescribably positively impacted that patients of the clinicians that have devoured the text. So, are you feeling stuck with how to proceed with a patient to expand their diet beyond 3 choice foods? Are you feeling overwhelmed with how to introduce PO for the first time to a little one who has feeding tube dependency? Well, leave your chewy tubes at home, lock them away in a box, lose key, and be prepared to have your professional soul nourished with Cheri!

1hr 1min

9 Oct 2019

Rank #7

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95: Cari Ebert on Delivering Extraordinary Early Intervention! - Cari Ebert, MS, CCC-SLP

In this episode Michelle is joined the one and only Cari Ebert, MS CCC-SLP, of the famous Cari Ebert Seminars! Cari, who is a passionate pediatric SLP focusing on Early Intervention and Apraxia, an Autism Momma, a proud defender of play, a breast cancer survivor, author, professional speaker, and as she says a frequent flyer, is a one stop shop for EBP resources and is here today to tackle the evidenced based trend towards Coaching. Watch out EI SLP’s…we heard that worried sigh of “Oh No not Coaching!”, but fear not! Cari illuminates the common misunderstanding between Coaching and Counseling, then turns around and busts open the obstacles to coaching with function and fun resources to set you and your patients up for success. It’s a double whammy of energy and enthusiasm for putting evidence into the world of Early Intervention this hour!

1hr 10mins

8 Apr 2020

Rank #8

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81: Common Pediatric Medications and Their Role in Feeding and Swallowing Disorders - Lisa Milliken, MA CCC-SLP, FNAP, CDP

In this episode Michelle is joined by Lisa Young Milliken, MA, CCC, FNAP, CDP, who received her BA from Louisiana Tech University and her MA from The University of Memphis in Audiology and Speech Language Pathology. Have you had questions regarding that laundry list of medications that your pediatric patient is taking? No fear and no shame from us here at First Bite…. because we have had the same questions too! Did you know that certain common medications for GERD and seizure management could trigger an oroprharyngeal dysphagia, trigger constipation, or result in bone density issues? As Clinicians we need to understand how the medications that our patients are taking can impact their hunger cues and desire for PO trials, or contribute to safety issues for PO intake… and Lisa is here to clarify the muddy waters that is pediatric medications.

1hr 4mins

30 Dec 2019

Rank #9

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3: It’s NOT Just a Millennial “Thang”, Anxiety is Real. - Stephanie Schank

In this course, Michelle has a frank conversation with Stephanie Schank regarding student clinician fears and anxiety disorders that are more than a “Millenial thang”. Discover how real life heartbreak can lead to a powerful place of healing and serve as an inspiration to clinical supervisors to educate our students with compassion and patience.


27 Jun 2018

Rank #10

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72: Case Studies for Infants, Toddlers, and Children with Down Syndrome - Erin Forward, MSP, CCC-SLP

In this episode Michelle is once again joined by the passionate Erin Forward, MSP CCC-SLP. Together they spend an hour dedicated to dissecting common airway, cardiac, and GI issues prevalent with Infants, Toddlers, and Children who have Down syndrome, and how these can result in a Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders. Special attention is placed on how airway, cardiac, and GI issues can occur in isolation, but often for our patients with Down syndrome, they occur concomitantly. Appropriate Interprofessional Practice referrals, Functional Feeding strategies, and shout outs for the amazing work that the National Down syndrome Society is doing… are all on the menu too!

1hr 5mins

30 Oct 2019

Rank #11

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58: Early Childhood and AAC… with SpeechandLanguage Songs - Stephen Kneece, MA, CCC-SLP

In this episode Michelle is joined by Mr. Stephen Kneece, MA CCC-SLP, the charming southern gentlemen who is the mastermind, voice, and musician behind the YouTube Channel “Speech & Language Songs”. Stephen, who serves as the Assistive Technology Consultant for Aiken County School District during the day, joins Michelle to share his passion for all “thangs” AAC. Core Vocab, Fringe, the struggles of choosing an AAC device, and evidenced based options if Speech Generating isn’t the way to go at this moment, are all covered in this dynamic power-hour!

1hr 5mins

31 Jul 2019

Rank #12

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39: Common to Uncommon Genetic Conditions and their Accompanying Functional Feeding Disorders - Erin Forward, MSP, CF-SLP

In this episode Michelle is joined once again by Miss Erin Forward, MSP CF-SLP, where they tackle some common, some not so common, and a few rare genetic syndromes…and how they can result in an oropharygneal dysphagia or feeding aversion. If you have questions regarding some basic terminology on how genetic conditions are inherited or caused…and how they correspond to a child needing services for functional feeding…well then this is the episode for you!

1hr 22mins

20 Mar 2019

Rank #13

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60: OTs and Feeding? Who knew!?! - Elizabeth “Beth” Halpin, MHS, OTR/L, SCFES

In this episode Michelle is joined by the one and only Elizabeth “Beth” Halpin, MHS, OTR/L, SCFES, aka Feeding Therapy, OT guru extraordinaire! Yep, we own it, Beth rocks!! This is the hour that your questions pertaining to the Scope of Practice for Occupational Therapists engaged in Feeding Therapy are FINALLY answered! Beth offers functional hands-on, (no pun intended), resources for the EBP of “messy” and “sensory play”, as well as general EBP guidelines for how to incorporate OT skills into your feeding sessions. Enjoy this fascinating feeding hour that will leave you wanting more!!

1hr 6mins

14 Aug 2019

Rank #14

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8: So… We Have That Tube and Now the Speech Pathologist is Going to Get Them to Eat… Right? - Erin Forward, MSP, CF-SLP

In this podcast, Michelle is joined by the lovely Miss Erin Forward of Rochester, NY. On the menu: common terminology for our pediatric populations with feeding tubes, emphasis on quality not quantity feeds, and addressing long-term planning…stressing the motto of “fed is fed is fed” and that some of these little ones do need a feeding tube for nourishment and PO for quality of life.


7 Aug 2018

Rank #15

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5: Don’t Faint, Your Little One Needs a Feeding Tubes... and Here is Why... - Jeremy Ponds, RD

Michelle is joined again by Jeremy Ponds, RD with Path of Life Nutrition, as he tackles the nitty gritty about who is a candidate for a feeding tube, how flow rates are configured…get your calculator ready!... and the implications of TPN for the little ones we treat.


11 Jul 2018

Rank #16

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71: Psyched about Psychology and Feeding! - Robert M. Dempster, PhD

In this episode Michelle is joined by the dynamic Dr. Robert Dempster, Pediatric Psychologist, who specializes in research and practice of pediatric feeding disorders! Have you ever wondered what exactly a psychologist on a feeding team does? Have you been worried that they force a bite? Or been concerned that they use mind control superpowers to encourage PO intake? Well, then let Dr. Rob put those comedic fears at ease as he presents the vital role a psychologist has in treating the child holistically, engages families and caregivers in a positive encouraging manner, and provides evidenced based strategies to encourage PO intake, as well as functional strategies to support carryover between feeding therapy sessions. This is one mighty powerful hour of awesomeness!

1hr 10mins

24 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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70: The Emotionally Intelligent Early Intervention SLP - Kevin Nourse, PhD, PCC

In this episode Michelle is joined by Kevin Nourse, PhD, PCC, an executive coach, leadership development expert, author, and speaker with over 20 years of experience developing resilient change leaders, and one of the gurus behind the ASHA Leadership Development Program! Somewhere along the path of life, you may have had a “Bad Boss”, which spurred you on to wanting to take a Leadership Role to lead a team the “Right Way”… well those leadership skills, both the “bad” and the “good” are based upon an individual’s Emotional Intelligence. Today, Dr. Nourse shares insight into what Emotional Intelligence is, how it impacts leadership in the workforce, and how to evolve your own Emotional Intelligence to become the #SLPLIKEABOSS that you want to be!

1hr 3mins

16 Oct 2019

Rank #18

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12: To Bag or Not to Bag? True Struggles of a “Bagless” Early Intervention SLP! - Erin Forward, MSP, CF-SLP

In this bold and brazen episode, Michelle is joined by the lovely Miss Erin Forward of Rochester, NY, where they take on an age old debate of “to-bag” or “not-to-bag” in the world of Early Intervention. Best practice guidelines, everything from ASHA to the WHO, are discussed, then real-world advice on how home-health speech therapists can implement these guidelines in a home where resources are limited and poverty is high is tackled. Put your bags and fears aside, as Michelle and Erin provide joyful and practical interventions.


29 Aug 2018

Rank #19

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41: So about that AERODigestive Tract? - Dr. Fred Garner, ENT

In this episode Michelle is joined by her mentor and friend Dr. Fred Garner, ENT, of “ENT for Kids”. Not only did Dr. Garner assist Michelle in her role as “Momma Bear”, by addressing both of her own son’s airway concerns, but he has also dramatically impacted the lives of countless children in the midlands of SC by expediting their healing process through medical management of the “aero” portion of their respective aerodigestive tracts. Do you have kiddo on your caseload that seems to be “stuck” on pureed foods, or do you have a patient that keeps hitting repeat on their upper respiratory infections, or can’t seem to shake that “junky” stridor sound at rest or in play? Well then, sit back in awe as Dr. Garner shares a lifetime’s worth of experience to help our professions better understand and support each other in the care of these little ones.

1hr 5mins

4 Apr 2019

Rank #20