Dysphagia Training for SLTs - Awareness Level Update

Estimated Duration: 
1 hour

Following completion of our online dysphagia awareness course, and having had the last few months to put into practice the things you have learnt, this short course provides the opportunity for you to reflect on your learning over the past year and to think about where your dysphagia skills and knowledge can progress over the next 12 months.

Whether you have had lots of experience, a little, or none, this is your opportunity to review the course content and consider questions about your working practices.

There will be options for future learning and some references to follow for your interest. You are encouraged to take up any learning points or questions with your colleagues and/or supervisor.


The objectives for the Awareness level course that you completed were as follows:


  • Basic information regarding the normal swallow
  • Basic information regarding the chronic and acute signs of aspiration
  • Basic information regarding the risks of aspiration of food and drink and how it may compromise the student’s respiratory, hydration and nutritional status
  • Basic information regarding the physical emotional and psychological impact of swallowing and feeding difficulties on the student and carers, including the impact on learning and access to education
  • Basic information about the ethical and medico-legal dilemmas that may occur with students with feeding/ swallowing difficulties.


  • Ensuring the optimum feeding environment for a student
  • Liaising with school, family and health professionals regarding a change in the students presentation and if an adverse situation occurs
  • Information regarding the supports in place within the Ministry of Education and the referral procedures for further external support for a student
  • How to seek support if there is a change in the student’s presentation
  • Working with the appropriate Health SLT to identify the effectiveness of the dysphagia management plan and recording areas of progress and specific difficulties arising in order to assist the review process.

Some of these elements require additional knowledge or information, and some are skills that you will practise.

The following update considers the skills and knowledge you have gained in relation to your work with children with EDS problems and asks you to think about possible gaps in your learning, and to plan for the year coming.


This course provides 1 MOPs points or 1 hour of CPD. 


This content has been developed by Bianca Jackson and Speech Science at The University of Auckland. Speech Science is located within the School of Psychology, with the Faculty of Science. 

The material is presented by the Goodfellow Unit (GFU),  an accredited continuing medical education/ continuing professional development (CME/CPD) provider for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners and functions under a tripartite agreement between the Goodfellow Foundation, the College and the University of Auckland. The Unit is located within the Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, and within the School of Population Health, one of the five Schools within the Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences.


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