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HPV: Changing the Face of Head & Neck Cancer

Written by Karen Sheffler, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S of (revised April 25, 2017). Reposted on the NFOSD website with the author’s permission. See Karen’s Biography at the end of this article.

HPV-positive oropharyngeal cancer is changing the face of head and neck cancer.

“How did I get tonsillar cancer? I don’t smoke or drink!”

Young people who do not smoke do NOT get cancer, right?


We need to have the talk — about sex and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV). continue reading →

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When Your Baby Won’t Eat

Byline: Virginia Sole-Smith; NY Times Magazine February 4, 2016

Our daughter started life on a feeding tube. Then we tried to wean her off it and began to understand the complexity of how children relate to food.

This is a lengthy article about Violet, a seemingly healthy newborn with a strong natural eating style. But, over the course of a week, Virginia began to decline. The story doesn’t begin with a swallowing disorder, but it evolves into one.

Three quick points, for those of you with still here:

1) At the National Foundation of Swallowing Disorders, we refer people who contact us to swallowing specialists, physicians, and medical teams worldwide on a daily basis. We do not seek compensation for these referrals nor do we receive a commission from those practitioners to whom we refer people. Our goal is to match the patient with the best and most practical medical professional.

2) We do not provide patient-specific medical advice. As with Violet, every patient is different, and the logical place to begin is with a medical assessment by a specialist versed in that patient’s underlying medical condition and age (pediatric, adolescent, adult, and geriatric) while taking location into consideration.

3) As of this posting, there were over 140 comments. Many of them were from people with infants who suffered a swallowing disorder. It is worth reading the comments. This highlights that swallowing disorders are not a medical condition that discriminates, “Swallowing Disorders can Affect Anyone.” Click here to see our brochure.

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Tough to Swallow


Byline: Kate Kelsall is an award-winning blogger about Parkinson’s Disease and co-hosts a Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) support group she started in Denver, CO. Her experiences as a social worker, combined with living with Parkinson’s Disease for the past 20 years and having DBS for the past 10 years, make her well-suited to viewing Parkinson’s from both of the perspective of patient and professional. She is dedicated to guiding individuals and families through the DBS experience. Check out her blog at:

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Persons with Parkinson’s Disease and Dysphagia


By: Mary Spremulli, CCC-SLP. Ms. Spremulli is the owner of Voice Aerobics, LLC, a Speech-Language Pathology Private Practice, located in SW Florida. She holds a speech-language pathology license in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, and a nursing license in Florida. She is a faculty member of Parkinson Place in Sarasota, FL, and a member of the Education Committee of the World Parkinson Program. Ms. Spremulli has been a Clinical Consultant with Passy-Muir, Inc. for over 20 years providing education to professionals and patients, and she has published articles on the topic of patient education. Since 2013, Ms. Spremulli has hosted a monthly podcast, focusing on topics related to living well with Parkinson’s and other neurological diseases.

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It’s a Scary Time of Year

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Halloween is meant to be a scary time of year. But for parents of children with dysphagia, it can be an especially frightening time of year. To kids, Halloween is the one day of the year where they are encouraged to go door-to-door asking adults for as much candy as they can carry. continue reading →