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Speech-Language Pathology

Feeding/Swallowing (F/S)


Lane ESD students are supported by multiple F/S specialists on their IEP team, as well as the broader base of professionals on the Lane County F/S Team.

Lane County F/S Team

The Lane County Feeding/Swallowing Team consists of licensed professionals across Lane County schools who support students with F/S needs. They are typically SLPs, OTs, Nurses, and PTs whose scope of practice includes F/S support. F/S Team meetings are hosted at Lane ESD, convening least 3 times a year to:

  • discuss current issues and research,
  • connect with F/S colleagues,
  • discuss and write policy, and
  • obtain CEUs/PDUs.

Our objective is to foster a high level of F/S support across all Lane County schools.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Sara Mansfield.

F/S Team

The F/S Team not only serves specific students, but provides training and other support to people who assist any student with feeding and swallowing. That includes partners in venues outside of school, such as family members and other caregivers.

For each classroom, the F/S Team consists of the licensed professionals who have specific training and experience in F/S disorders, namely: Speech-Language Pathologists, Registered Nurses, and Occupational Therapists. Sometimes a Physical Therapist will have attended a graduate program whose training included F/S.

The F/S Team:

  • evaluates students who are potentially at risk of harm,
  • develops F/S Protocols or Guidelines,
  • trains partners (such as school staff members) to safely support students with F/S needs, and
  • coordinates with outside agencies and professionals as appropriate and necessary.

The F/S Team consults with other specialists who might typically be associated with an IEP team, or whose scope otherwise involves F/S (such as a medical doctor or registered dietician).

F/S Protocols (F/SP)

The F/SP documents the F/S Team’s instructions that keep a particular student safe when eating while at school, or while attending school activities. The F/SP includes detailed information about the type of diet, allergies, equipment, food preparation needs, and specific procedures that keep the student safe.

Students on F/SPs can only be fed and supported by school personnel who are trained by a member of the F/S Team to work with a specific student. Trainings are conducted at least annually, and they are refreshed when any changes are made to the protocol. Trained staff members are also monitored regularly by a member of the F/S Team.

F/S Guidelines (F/SG)

A F/SG documents student supports that are needed during meals, but which are only associated with those sorts of safety concerns that do not pose enough risk of harm to warrant a F/SP. Students on guidelines may need some food preparation supports, or occasional prompts to take smaller bites. Individualized training is not needed for classroom staff members to support a students on guidelines.

F/S Referrals

The following description is still being refined:

  1. Submit the F/S referral form to the student’s case manager.
  2. The case manager ensures that copies get to the teacher, parents, and the F/S Team members.
  3. The case manager sends the parents a “Prior Notice about Consent for Evaluation.”
  4. The parents sign that consent.
  5. One or more members of the F/S Team will observe and evaluate the student.
  6. A F/S Protocol is created and shared with the IEP team.
  7. If necessary, the case manager arranges the paperwork for an exchange of medical information.
  8. The IEP team adds F/S services onto the IEP.
  9. Staff members will be trained by the F/S Team to support the student.

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