New Dysphagia (Eating and Drinking) service at Dawn House School

Over the last year, Dysphagia-trained (Eating and Drinking) Speech and Language Therapists have worked hard to establish a robust in-house Dysphagia Service at Dawn House School. The school now benefits from having a permanent full-time Dysphagia Therapist who is able to offer assessments, advice and continued support to students who have eating and drinking difficulties, as well as their parents and staff. Eating and Drinking Plans are in place for identified students along with ‘Good Practice in the Dining Room Guidelines,’ which ensures that all students benefit from a positive dining room experience. Collaborative working with the kitchen staff has ensured that any dietary modifications required are in place, and that safe eating and drinking is ensured for everyone.

The Dysphagia Service has expanded into I CAN’s Assessment Service. A ‘Dysphagia Screening Questionnaire’ is sent out with any assessment paperwork to ensure that any students who are booked in for an assessment can have their eating and drinking needs met.

The new Dysphagia Service ensures a consistent, safe approach to eating and drinking in the students’ school, college and wider environments. It provides Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for staff, and raises awareness that eating and drinking difficulties are everyone’s responsibility.

The Dysphagia Service will continue to expand with plans as follows:

  • To develop an oro-motor programme for students with identified eating and drinking difficulties.
  • To deliver training for all school staff, parents and other professionals.
  • To develop an informative leaflet highlighting the key points of eating and drinking difficulties.
  • To continue working with the kitchen staff to adapt meal options in line with any dietary requirements.
  • To work with the Occupational Therapist (O.T) to enhance the dining room provision for all students.

By Kay Lawrence – Dysphagia Trained Speech and Language Therapist

To find out more about I CAN’s Assessments, visit our Speech & Language Assessment Services page.