[Editors note. This mini-series was a collaborative effort by Sharon C. Meier, MS CCC-SLP (Able Speech and Voice in Osprey, Florida), Jan Pryor, MA CCC-SLP BCS-S, and Ellen Conover, MS CF-SLP. Part one focused on swallowing disorder symptoms; this part, part two, focuses on what to expect during an initial swallowing assessment. NFOSD would like to thank each of our contributing authors.]
The first visit starts the minute we meet. Are you ambulatory (able to walk), alone or with another? As we walk toward the therapy room, dining room or kitchen table, we talk. I subjectively assess cognition (attention, memory, problem solving), vocal quality, pragmatics (social appropriateness in communication) and medical concerns. We discuss recent doctor visits. I assess posture, stature and proportional weight. We converse while establishing rapport. I ask if you are having eating, chewing and or swallowing issues.