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First Bite: A Speech Therapy Podcast

Language Learning Podcasts

Join Speech-Language Pathologist: Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC, BCS-S for First Bite - Fed, Fun and Functional Resources for the Pediatric SLP. Each episode is available for 0.1 ASHA CEU through If you're a SLP who has more questions than answers when it comes to treating your medically complex/fragile pediatric patients, this podcast is for you! Michelle offers her own unique insights and interviews colleagues who are experts in their respective fields with the goal of inspiring and illuminating all aspects of diagnosing and treating this unique population.


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Join Speech-Language Pathologist: Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC, BCS-S for First Bite - Fed, Fun and Functional Resources for the Pediatric SLP. Each episode is available for 0.1 ASHA CEU through If you're a SLP who has more questions than answers when it comes to treating your medically complex/fragile pediatric patients, this podcast is for you! Michelle offers her own unique insights and interviews colleagues who are experts in their respective fields with the goal of inspiring and illuminating all aspects of diagnosing and treating this unique population.




256: The Inside Scoop on Barium for Pediatric Instrumental Swallow Studies

Guests: Caroline Brindo, MA, CCC-SLP, BCS-S & Steven Sireci, MD - Not all of us will have the professional opportunity to conduct video fluoroscopic instrumental swallow evaluations; however, most of us will encounter pediatric patients, clients, or students who are in need of one. When that happens, it is common for the caregiver to ask, “What’s going to happen?”, “Will the barium hurt?”, “Will they be radioactive?”. These questions can feel overwhelming for those of us in home health, early intervention, and schools because we may not have the answers readily available. But never fear, Caroline and Dr. Steven are here! They will answer these questions and more, such as, “What is barium?”, “Do different recipes for barium impact the swallow study?”, “What can my patient expect?”. So, if you want to know more about the nitty-gritty of barium, then tune in for this hour.


255: Centering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the COMD Profession

Guest: R. Danielle Scott, PhD, CCC-SLP - Dr. Dani shares the definitions of diversity, equity, and inclusion in this hour and how they pertain to the CSD community as clinical practitioners and faculty. The conversation lays out specific steps that faculty members can utilize to engage in anti-racism instruction, as well as steps clinicians can take to center diversity, equity, and inclusion into their clinical speech-language pathology practice. Remember, cultural competency is never the goal. The goal is to engage in cultural humility and meaningful conversations to grow not only as an individual but also as a citizen of the world.


254: The Joy and Just Right Challenge for Successful Therapy

Guest: Karen McWaters, MOT, OTR/L - This course will integrate theories and ideas from the previous three courses to dive deep into what we are actually asking our patients to do in sessions. How do we truly analyze the task and work to find the just right challenge to help them grow within their zone of proximal development while also helping them feel successful? Karen and Erin will explore the beautiful tool of joy and play, which can uncover true learning in a child.


253: The Importance of Motor and Language Learning for Effective Therapy

Guest: Karen McWater, MOT, OTR/L - As SLPs, we can often look at speech and language development in isolation, as our formal assessments encourage us to do; however, it is imperative that we learn from our occupational and physical therapy colleagues regarding motor learning principles and how they parallel those of language development. When we get out of our box, we can further understand the children we work with and their capacities. Erin and Karen will discuss their journey of collaborating within this context and how they learned from each other to help the children they worked with reach further potential.


252: Therapeutic Use of Self and Affect: Your Greatest Tool in Therapy

Guest: Karen McWaters, MOT, OTR/L - With all the therapy tools we have access to, all the worksheets, toys, and bubbles, it is important to understand that you are your own best tool. Karen and Erin discuss the role of effect and attunement to truly connect with children and their caregivers in sessions. They discuss the intentional relationship model and how we clinicians can use it to truly identify and improve our relationships with our clients and their caregivers to further build our connection. They will discuss the evidence behind relationship-based therapy and the true heart and joy that comes with it.


251: Roles of SLPs and OTs in Sensory and Regulation Systems

Guest: Karen McWaters, MOT, OTR/L - As SLPs, we have, in the past, passed all of our questions regarding sensory systems and regulation off to our OT counterparts due to their expansive education on the subject. However, it is time that we sit at the same table and have a conversation about sensory and its role in communication. A child needs to be regulated to grow their communication skills, and as such, we as SLPs need to learn from those around us how to support a child’s sensory system for optimal language development. Today, Erin and Karen discussed sensory systems and regulation and how it is imperative for us to join in.


250: Moving Research to Practice for Caregiver Coaching for PFD

Guest: Meg Simione, Ph.D., CCC-SLP - In this episode, Michelle is joined by Meg Simione, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, a clinician-scientist focusing on infant and child feeding and growth and implementing innovations to improve care delivery. One of the hardest aspects of the “Pediatric Feeding Disorder” diagnosis to grasp can be the “psychosocial" domain. Why? As clinicians, we were trained to focus on the “feeding skill” domain, typically addressing the caregiver’s psychosocial impact falls by the wayside. But, it is critical that we understand this core component of PFD. Dr. Meg shares some of the most common psychosocial consequences, what clinicians can do to overcome these impacts, and why it is critical for clinicians to collaborate with researchers to expedite current research into daily practice for the little ones we have been called to serve.


248: Teaching Self-Advocacy and Student-Led Speech Therapy

Guest: Hallie Sherman, MS, CCC-SLP - In this episode, Hallie Sherman discusses all things about working with older elementary-age students. If you’re a “First Bite” listener but work with older elementary-age students or are considering leaving the world of early intervention and jumping to the school setting, this is the motivational hour for you. Hallie shares her tips on the trade in how to establish buy-in from older children in taking ownership of their goals and speech-therapy destiny. If you need guidance on building rapport with older speech kids, how understanding their reading fluency and comprehension levels impact all facets of their learning readiness, or how to help these students create their own speech therapy goals, this episode is for you.


247: AAC Vocabulary Selections for Teens

Guest: Amy Miller Sonntag, SLPD, CCC-SLP - In this episode, Michelle is joined by Amy Miller Sonntag, SLPD, CCC-SLP, a faculty member in the OSU Assistive and Rehabilitative Technology Certificate Program and the current secretary of the USSAAC (United States Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication) Board. The ability to say “No!”, the ability to say “Yes!”, the ability to name reproductive body parts, the ability to request tattoos, or a quick “Hey, how are you?” these are crucial conversations for late teens and young adults even more so when it comes to those who utilize AAC devices. So, how do we, as speech-language pathologists working with these individuals, help caregivers and AAC users determine the ideal vocabulary to communicate their wants, needs, likes, dislikes, passions, dreams, and hopes? In his hour, Amy shares current research and pulls from her clinical experiences to shape and offer guidance on holding these empowering conversations with grace and compassion.


240: Episodic Care for Feeding Therapy: Who, What, Where, When, and Why

In this episode, Michelle and Erin tackle the joy of episodic care for the treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorder. For those who are used to productivity requirements, understand that those percentages are probably substandard during the summer months. But what if those weekly sessions for a year-long plan of care that adhere to tight productivity regimens may not be optimal for your patient or client? Let Michelle and Erin share the power of episodic care with you. The who, what, where, when, and why will all be covered in this hour-long conversation on an alternate form of service delivery.


246: Inspiring Future Generations of SLPs

Guest: Amanda Pericles, MS, CCC-SLP - In this episode, Michelle is joined by Amanda Pericles, MS, CCC-SLP (She/Her/Ella), a bilingual speech-language pathologist working in Charlotte, NC. Amanda, a Black Dominican-American daughter of immigrant parents and a simultaneous Spanish-English language learner engages in a crucial conversation today regarding her personal experiences as a member of the BIPOC speech-language pathology community. Our lived experiences in this profession, starting with our college journey, the application process into graduate school, the overwhelming juggling act of graduate coursework and clinical practicums, and applying for and surviving the clinical fellowship, all of it can leave a lasting impact on how we ultimately engage in the profession as “CCC-SLP.” However, research has consistently demonstrated that the lived experiences of our colleagues who are members of the BIPOC community are often fraught with additional challenges, such as academic literacy, challenges that clinical supervisors, faculty, and colleagues need to be aware of, as well as be prepared to offer strategies and support. Join in for this hour empowering hour to inspire future generations of SLPs.


245: AAC with Dr. Cheri Dodge Chin

Guest: Cheri Dodge Chin, ClinScD, CCC-SLP - In this episode, Michelle is joined by Dr. Cheri Dodge Chin, an Assistive Technology consultant, adjunct professor, published researcher, and one of the original SLP bloggers known as “Super Power Speech.” Cheri shares her professional lows and highs, the barriers that her students encounter, and how to work through the “storming, forming, and norming” stages of teams, to fully equip high-tech AAC users for success.


244: Advocacy for the 8% Summit for Speech Pathologists and Audiologists of Color

Guest: Kendra T. Allison, MS CCC-SLP - Kendra is a founding owner of Speechology communication services and founder/host of "8% Summit for Speech Pathologists and Audiologists of Color." By the end of this hour, which starts with a fair bit of astrology-driven laughter, you will be able to describe the heartfelt mentorship mission that drives Kendra and the 8% Summit, describe common barriers to members of the BIPOC community for entering the fields of speech-language pathology and audiology, as well as how mentorship can be an invaluable tool to overcome those barriers.


243: Assault and SLPs: What We Need To Know

Guest: Kayla Duncan - Kayla, the Director of Communications and Outreach with the Sexual Assault Resource Center, will discuss a topic that we all need to learn about, assault. The statistics for sexual assault, domestic abuse, and sexual harassment in this country are staggering. One in four will have personal experience, which means the other three will know a colleague, a student, a family member, and/or a patient whose life has been impacted by the assault. Therefore, it is our responsibility, not only to ourselves but also to those that we love and those we are called to serve, to become educated about the signs and symptoms, and red flags for potential behaviors, as well as to learn what community resources are available in the event that they are needed. Yes, this is a potentially triggering and difficult topic to know about. Still, Michelle and Kayla promise to add joy and laughter to leave listeners with a better understanding of what to do when and with the hope that we can collaborate to make the world better truly.


242: The ASHFoundation and You: Expediting Research to Practice

Guests: Julie Barkmeier-Kraemer, PhD, CCC-SLP, Julie Feuerstein, PhD, CCC-SLP, Shirley Huang, PhD, CCC-SLP, Jennifer Tucker PhD, PT, DPT, PCS - In this episode, Michelle is delighted to be joined by an all-star lineup of colleagues to share how the ASHFoundation is leading the way in expediting research to practice. Dr. Julie Barkmeir-Kraemer, who currently serves as an ASHFoundation Board Member, is also a professor in the Dept of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, Director of the Voice, Airway, Swallowing Translational (VAST) Research Lab, Clinic Director of the Voice Disorders Center, and Adjunct Faculty to the Dept of CSD at the University of Utah. They are joined by three recipients of the ASHFoundation’s scholarships, including Julie Feuerstein, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, who is an Assistant Professor School of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Central Florida and runs the Early Communication and Play (ECAP) lab there; Shirley Huang, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, who is currently a health and science policy fellow with the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)/American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) at the National Institutes of Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and Jennifer Tucker Ph.D., PT, DPT, PCS is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Program of Physical Therapy at the University of Central Florida, where she serves as the Director of UCF Go Baby Go lab. By the end of this hour, their combined goal is for colleagues to understand the ASHFoundation's mission, identify different research fields that have grown because of their recipient’s funding, and find ways to volunteer.


241: Trauma Sensitive Interprofessional Care with Kim Barthel



237: Pediatric Feeding Disorder and Pediatric Dysphagia: Diagnosis, Clinical Case Studies, and IPP

In this episode, Michelle and Erin are back to discuss pediatric feeding disorder clinical case studies for “Dysphagia Awareness Month." With the addition of the new ICD-10 codes for Pediatric Feeding Disorder, there have been questions on the role and responsibilities of the SLP in diagnosing a PFD and how pediatric dysphagia fits into the diagnostic criteria. Michelle and Erin share resources to answer this question and how to guide allied health and medical health partners in their roles for PFD and pediatric dysphagia diagnoses too. The ladies of “First Bite” then transition to case studies that discuss strategies for intervention and how to engage in the interprofessional practice for optimal patient outcomes for little ones with pediatric dysphagia and PFD.


Behind the Scenes with First Bite

Special Guests: Goose Danger Dawson, Boo Bear Extreme Dawson, and a cameo by Mr. Dawson. Y'all, in this oh-so-special and definitely not-for-CEs episode, Erin and Michelle are joined by the rest of Pack Dawson to celebrate "First Bite" reaching 1.5 million downloads! So, you've been warned, there are probably 5 minutes cumulatively of fart jokes, a few tearful moments for the big fears and changes that the last five years have brought, belly laughter and smiles to accompany dreams for the future, raw moments of sharing faith, and a whole lot of gratitude for our colleagues and guests. Thank you for joining us and letting us serve you! XOX -M and E


239: All Things Passy-Muir Speaking Valve

Guest: Kristin King, Ph.D., CCC-SLP - Michelle is joined by Kristin King, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Vice President of Clinical Education and Research for Passy Muir. To continue “Dysphagia Awareness Month,” First Bite is overjoyed to have Dr. King for a conversation on the impact of tracheostomies and dysphagia. Dr. King debunks common myths, then sets the facts straight with how a Passy Muir Speaking valve recreates a closed pressure system, thereby improving opportunities for phonation, cough responses, and even pooping. Tune in to learn more about pediatric tracheostomies, one-way pressure valves, and how they can positively impact a little one with pediatric dysphagia.


238: Unlocking the Power of a PhD in Pediatric Dysphagia

Guest: Rachel Hahn Arkenberg, M.S. CCC-SLP, CLC - In this episode, Michelle is joined by Rachel, who is a medical speech-language pathologist and lactation counselor pursuing her Ph.D. with Dr. Georgia Malandraki in the Imaging, Evaluation, and Treatment of Swallowing Lab at Purdue University. Michelle and Rachel felt like the middle of “Dysphagia Awareness Month” was the perfect time to discuss the amazing opportunity that is pursuing a Ph.D. in Dysphagia. Are you a practicing clinician that has more questions than answers with regard to the evidence for evaluations and interventions for pediatric dysphagia and PFD, then this is the episode for you! Tune in as Rachel shares her inspirations for pursuing a Ph.D., the vital role a mentor plays in your pursuit of a Ph.D., the typical day of a Ph.D. candidate, as well as how the curriculum between a master's degree differs from that of a Ph.D.