Live Courses

The Organic Swallow with DPNS and E-Stim Certifications

If you are interested in hosting a workshop, please download and read our workshop agreement. One of the benefits of hosting is that The Speech Team will provide one full scholarship for a qualified SLP! If you and/or your facility believe they can provide the requirements listed in the agreement or have any questions, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please note that Ms. Stefanakos, M.A., CCC-SLP travels and trains in Europe from May-November, so any proposed workshop dates must be in January-April. 

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Workshop details:

ASHA CEUs: 2.9 or 29 hours

This four day workshop is for Speech Language Pathologists who have their CCC and/or CFY, and for DPNS certified SLPs. This course is designed to provide the attendee with a knowledge base for organic dysphagia evaluation and treatment.

Traditionally, speech language pathologists have been trained on a "symptomatic" rather than an "etiologically" based analysis process to describe the patient's dysphagic condition. However, analysis of a patient's symptoms i.e., "valleculae pooling", "pyriform sinus pooling", and "pharyngeal residues" does not allow the clinician to understand which organic sensory or motor mechanisms to treat in therapy. The clinician is left to "guess" as to whether they are to treat a sensory deficit, motor deficit, a reflex mechanism, or an autonomic function such as salivation. Skilled organic analysis allows the SLP to specifically determine the neurophysiological components creating dysphagia i.e., specific thermal receptors, specific muscles, specific reflexes, deficit parotid generation of salivation, etc., which then can be targeted in the patient's plan of care. Consequently, organic dysphagia analysis "leads" the clinician to understand the dysfunctional neurophysiological components which "create the symptoms". Organic analysis is a true and empowering step forward for the practicing SLP.

The workshop will concentrate on the organic foundations of the swallow - salivation, sensory systems, motor systems, reflex mechanisms, with additional information on drugs, and pathological
disease patterns. Extensive attention will be given to current medicare and OBRA Guidelines laws and documentation required to obtain maximal reimbursement. The participant will participate in interactive classrooms on specifric topics.

DPNS dysphagia treatment is a systematized therapeutic method for pharyngeal dysphagia which utilizes eleven specific stimulation techniques within the oral/pharyngeal areas. DPNS study results indicate DPNS dysphagia treatment improves and/or restores oral/pharyngeal muscle strength, endurance, and pharyngeal reflex functions which are necessary in the total swallow function. Overwhelming anecdotal evidence in combination with previous clinical studies indicate a high efficacy rate for patients with varying neurological etiologies.

Speech Language Pathologists will be instructed via classroom demonstration in Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation (DPNS) dysphagia treatment and in the use of a 9 volt electrical stimulator for the separate certification for the Facial Muscle Exercise Program (FMEP). The EMS-2C electrical stimulator is an FDA approved over -the-counter product which is described as the gold standard for electrical stimulators.

The Workshop will also concentrate on salivation management (pharmacological & prosthetic), cranial nerve lesion sites and their impact on the oral-pharyngeal swallow function, reflex competency assessment, CN sensory tract assessment, Medicare law HCFA/CMS clinical indicators, and documentation-- evaluation through discharge. Six classrooms with one-on-one instruction will be provided to enable participants to apply lecture information in their clinical settings.

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Course Goals

  • Discriminate and differentiate normal & abnormal oral/pharyngeal anatomy/physiology of swallowing
  • Summarize principles (including advantages and limitations) of symptomatic vs. organic dysphagia evaluation and treatment planning
  • Determine patient treatment plan criteria
  • Participate in demonstration classrooms with one-on-one application
  • Establish Organic Dysphagia Analysis in your rehab setting
  • Develop effective medicare/OBRA documentation skills for dysphagia
  • Differentiate the effects of cranial nerve lesion site upon oral & pharyngeal swallow functions
  • Participate in demonstration classrooms: Sensory, Motor, and reflex competency assessments
  • Summarize principles effecting saliva management: pharmacological & neurophysiological disease

Course Schedule

Day 1

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 - 11:00 The Organics of Salivation
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:30 The Organics of Salivation
12:30 - 1:00 Lunch
1:00 - 3:00 The Organics of Salivation
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:45 The Sensory Systems of the Swallow
4:45 - 5:45 Q & A

Day 2

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 - 11:00 The Sensory Systems of the Swallow
11:00 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 12:45 Muscle Groups and Reflex Systems of the Swallow
12:45 - 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 3:15 Muscle Groups and Reflex Systems of the Swallow
3:15 - 3:30 Break
3:30 - 3:45 Therabite video
3:45 - 4:45 Sensory/Neuromuscular Assessment Classroom
4:45 - 5:45 Q & A

 Day 3

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 - 11:15 Deep Pharyngeal Neuromuscular Stimulation (DPNS)
11:15 - 11:30 Break
11:30 - 1:00 DPNS Certification Classroom
1:00 - 1:30 Lunch
1:30 - 2:15 DPNS Stimulation Response & Documentation
2:15 - 3:00 Labial Goniometer Measurement & Classroom
3:00 - 3:15 Break
3:15 - 4:15 Q & A

 Day 4

8:30 - 9:00 Breakfast
9:00 - 11:15 Facial Muscle Exercise Program with Classroom
11:15 - 11:30 Break
11:30 - 12:30 Lab Reports, Drugs, and Swallow Function
12:45 - 1:15 Lunch
1:15 - 2:45 Legal Documentation and Protocol Standardization
2:45 - 3:00 Break
3:00 - 4:30 Dysphagia Care Guidelines & Case Studies
4:30 - 5:30 Q & A