Evidence suggests that sensory stimulation using either air puffs on the faucial pillars in the mouth or vibrators on the neck over the larynx will increase swallowing and enhance neural activation of the swallowing system in the brain. These findings were the basis for the introduction of a new model of dysphagia therapy where patients use a vibratory device for sensory induction of swallowing during intensive practice throughout the day. Small studies have trained patients to use sensory stimulation for practice initially in therapy and then for intensive practice at home. Early results indicate that a laryngeal vibrator can be used safely at home to improve oral intake in severely affected patients who had failed therapy for at least 2 years post CVA. This course discusses new approaches to augment volitional swallowing control, using sensory input to facilitate swallowing, increasing swallowing practice on at least 50% of swallows each day, triggering practice on saliva swallows throughout the day and new methods of brain stimulation for augmenting swallowing training in the clinic. Offered for 0.1 CEUs – 1 contact hour.
This course was included in the material of a previously offered eCourse – #e108: Charleston Swallowing Conference Home Study: Evidence-Based Dysphagia Management.
The content of this online CE course does not focus exclusively on any specific proprietary product or service. Presenter financial and non-financial disclosures may be found in the Presenter & Disclosures area.
Video PowerPoint presentation with author narration & downloadable handout.
Christy Ludlow, PhD, CCC-SLP, (Retired) is one of the premier researchers in the field of Speech-Language Pathology. Dr. Ludlow specializes in voice and swallowing neurophysiology and disorders and is a frequently invited international lecturer on the diagnosis and management of voice and swallowing disorders. Dr. Ludlow's research has been published in numerous leading peer-reviewed journals covering neuroimaging, neurophysiology, dysphagia and Speech Pathology, among others.
Dr. Ludlow recently retired as Professor in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at James Madison University in Virginia where she taught courses on voice, neuroanatomy, neurophysiology and clinical trials. She also developed the Laboratory on Neural Bases of Communication and Swallowing and currently is active in research focusing on the role of sensory feedback in neural control for voice, speech, and swallowing; the use of sensory enhancement during motor training for recovery from dysphagia; and the diagnosis and assessment of spasmodic dysphonia.
Financial — Christy Ludlow is a presenter of online CE courses sponsored Northern Speech Services; receives a royalty.
Financial — Christy Ludlow serves as a research consultant for StimSwal; receives payment.
Financial — Christy Ludlow authors books on building a research career and measuring voice, speech and swallowing for Plural Publishing, Inc.; receives a royalty.
Nonfinancial — Christy Ludlow has no relevant nonfinancial relationships to disclose.
This program is offered for 0.1 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate Level; Professional Area).
ASHA CEUs: NSS online courses are registered with ASHA and are offered for ASHA CEUs. The number of ASHA CEUs is noted above. Note that 0.1 ASHA CEU = 1 contact hour = equals 1 CEE.
ASHA CE Registry: During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
ASHA CEUs: Attendees must meet at least one of the following conditions in order to be eligible to earn ASHA CEUs:
If an attendee is not an ASHA member or CCC holder but meets any of the above criteria, they may inform the ASHA CE Registry of their eligibility by visiting this site.
Licensing Boards: Most state licensing boards DO accept CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some state boards do, however, place a limit to the number of credits that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any credit limits related to home-study courses prior to registering for this course.
Additional accrediting agencies by which Northern Speech is an approved CE provider:
Course Completion Timeframe:
You have unlimited time to complete our online courses. You may log off and log on as often as you’d like to in order to complete all sections of a course.
However, completion dates are based on Eastern Standard Time. Therefore, if you need your CEUs by a certain date, be sure to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on that date. For example, if you need CEUs before January 1st, you will need to complete the course test before 11:59pm EST on December 31st.
Access to course materials and content does not expire, even after completing the post test. You may continue to review course material by logging into your NSS account, clicking the My Online Courses tab, and then viewing your desired course.
Certificate of Completion:
On successful completion of the post test (80%), a certificate will be immediately available for download and/or printing. This certificate will include your name, date of completion (based on Eastern Time Zone, USA/Canada), and number of contact hours (CEUs / CEEs). Please note that CEUs are awarded on the date of successful test completion, not the date of course enrollment. Please ensure that you successfully complete the post test prior to any licensure renewal dates.
ASHA CE Registry Submission:
During the enrollment process, if you select to receive ASHA credit for this course and if you provide your ASHA number, NSS will automatically submit your CEU information to the ASHA CE Registry after successful course completion (80% on post test). This submission happens once per month, during the first week of the month. For example, if you complete your course on November 7th, NSS will submit all November online course CEUs to ASHA during the first week of December. When ASHA inputs the information into their database, they will mark the course as completed on the last day of the month in which it was completed, so November 30th using this example. The certificate of completion available for you to print immediately, however, will reflect the actual completion date, November 7th in this example. Due to ASHA processing procedures please allow 2-3 weeks, from the submission date, for the course to appear on your ASHA transcript.
Purchase orders are currently not accepted for online orders, if you wish to submit a purchase order please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org or fax to 888-696-9655.
What is an Online Course?
Our Online Courses consist of video, audio, and/or text content and are offered for ASHA CEUs. Unlike a webinar, which requires participants to be logged on and at a computer at specific times, our Online Courses are available to you at any time, from any device, via your NorthernSpeech.com online account. You may work at your own pace and start and stop your course as you wish. Your course will conclude with a short post test. On successful completion of the post test (>80%), a printable certificate of completion is presented to you.
Northern Speech is an ASHA CE Provider and our online courses are registered with ASHA and offered for ASHA CEUs. Please note that successful completion of the online post test is required prior to the awarding of CEUs. Please contact your state licensing board for acceptance policies related to CEUs earned online. Please note that courses offered for university students are not applicable for CEUs.
Registering for an online course:
You may browse all online courses by clicking the Continuing Education tab above, then Online Courses. Once you find a course, click Enroll Now, and you will be asked to either log into your existing Northern Speech account or create a new online account. Once you’ve entered your account information and provided your credit card payment, your course will be immediately available to you.
Accessing your purchased course or returning to a purchased course:
You will be able to access your online course by logging into your Northern Speech account and then clicking the My Online Courses tab on your profile screen. Click the course you would like to start or to resume. From there, proceed through the course sections until you are ready to complete the post test. You do not have to complete your course all at once. You may log on and off as you wish.
Each online course concludes with a post test consisting of multiple choice or true & false questions. Scores of 80% or greater are required for successful course completion and awarding of CEUs. You may revisit course materials and retest as needed to achieve a passing score.
Number of CEUs offered:
We offer courses from 1 to 21 contact hours. Each course will note the number of CEUs offered. Please note that 0.1 CEU = 1 contact hour = 1 CEE.
State licensing boards and online CEUs:
NSS is an ASHA CE Provider and most state licensing boards DO accept ASHA CEUs earned online (usually classified as home-study credits). Some boards do, however, place a limit to the number of CEUs that can be earned via home study/online courses. For the most current information, we suggest that you contact your licensing board or agency to verify acceptance policies and/or any CEU limits related to home-study courses prior to enrolling in an online course.
Our course formats include: text, audio, video, and PowerPoint with author narration. Each course will note the format on the course description page. Most courses include closed captioning.
Most of our online courses provide a link to download the accompanying handout as a PDF file.
Groups of 3 or more are eligible for a 20% discount on each registration on most of our online courses. To receive this discount, registrations need to be processed together via the "Group Rates" tab on the Online Course of your choice.
For our online courses to function best, we recommend that you update your computer to include the newest version of your Internet browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, etc.) and newest version of your computer's operating system. Also a high-speed Internet connection is recommended (cable or DSL). Speakers or headphones will be required for many of our courses as many contain audio components.
Course Cancellation Policy:
A purchased online course can be exchanged, refunded, or transferred to another individual if contact is made with NSS (via phone or email) within 30 days of purchase and the course materials have not been viewed or downloaded.
Please click here for any special needs requests, and we will do our best to accommodate them.
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"I benefitted from the review of the studies that led to development of the swallowing device. The presentation covered both rationale & methods for use of the swallowing device." V.G. (Nov. 2021)
“The progression of showing device efficacy to developing an approach to use for home therapy. The author took the time to show the basic neurophysiology of the swallow and how stimulation can enhance neurologic function.” – D.J. (Dec. 2020)
"Interesting scientific studies and possible future therapy methods. Good for speech scientists and possible advances in therapy, but I expected current treatment options to be covered - ones that would be more useful to clinical staff." – R.M. (May 2020)
"Tying the sensory stimulation with swallowing rehabilitation was most helpful as that is a common goal I include for swallowing rehab currently." – R.B. (Apr. 2020)
"I appreciated going over the idea of implementing this practice to augment or extend treatment, when authorized treatment is not long or intensive enough. However, I expected current available methods or ready to apply treatments to be covered." – K.S. (Mar. 2020)
"I like the research that has been done." – A.M. (Dec. 2019)
"I enjoyed the strategies for both augmenting swallowing and improving frequency of practice. I liked the discussion of several bodies of literature that relate to enhancing swallowing function." – T.B. (Nov. 2019)
"I liked everything - especially understanding how important sensory stim is to swallowing and how it can be achieved." – C.H. (Nov. 2019)
"I found that this course was not relevant to my practice due to the lack of availability of materials/equipment." – S.D. (Sept. 2019)
"The discussion on how sensory stimulation can augment dysphagia therapy was most beneficial. I like that the research supported the statements." – D.F. (Apr. 2019)
"I liked the review of anatomy and learning new technological advances that have viable clinical applications in dysphagia rehab. Learning applications of stimulation devices was especially useful." – J.J. (Jan. 2019)
"I appreciated the information on exactly how sensory stimulation benefits swallowing. Loved the anatomical explanations." – J.C. (Jan. 2019)
"The entire course was beneficial. I liked the information on what's to come next with home health dysphagia management." – L.W. (Dec. 2018)
"Going over the use of vibratory sensory stimulation to assist with swallowing was most helpful. I liked learning new information. I expected additional sensory stimulation techniques, though." – J.G. (Nov. 2018)
"I liked the novel approach and the discussion on the ability of patients to improve with fewer visits by exercising at home." – A.A. (Aug. 2018)
"This course was unique, novel, and simple! I learned that mechanical vibration is (safer) versus electrical stim. It's encouraging for patients with chronic dysphagia who may have lost hope. The best part was the importance of sensory stim and swallow function. I would love to try out the device, although I do not currently own one." – R.S. (May 2018)
"I really enjoyed learning more about the neurology of sensory stimulation for swallowing." – T.C. (May 2018)
"The use of vibrotactile device for improving swallowing was the best discussion. I liked that the course was easy to understand and had practical applications." – K.P. (Apr. 2018)
"Going over the overall role/effect of sensory stimulation on swallow function was most beneficial. I liked that the course was easy to understand/follow." – S.W. (Apr. 2018)
"I appreciated the discussion on vibratory-tactile stimulation research and how it is moving the area of dysphagia treatment forward." – J.R. (Dec. 2017)
"Finding out about an additional device to facilitate improved swallowing besides the standard practices was beneficial. I like that the course information was clearly stated." – S.C. (Oct. 2017)
"I appreciated the focus on using devices to augment traditional therapy with the Speech Pathologist. Very concise and informative." – M.D. (Sept. 2017)
"I enjoyed the discussion on vibro tactile stimulator and how to implement devices as a continuation of therapy in the natural home setting." – J.W. (Aug. 2017)
"The use of different stimulation methods for swallowing treatments was most beneficial. The use of diagrams of the CNS was helpful along with the use of visual aides. However, I expected additional methods to integrate sensory stimulation into current treatment models." – G.L. (July 2017)
"The function of the treatment was beneficial as well as the home treatment. This is realistic and progressive with the healthcare changes we are facing." – D.S. (June 2017)
"I appreciated learning about the actual mechanism of how sensory input impacts deglutition. The course was fantastic! The course could be even better by including tool suggestions that a practicing clinician can get right away in order to begin implementing this type of sensory stimulation." – A.D. (June 2017)
"Excellent presentation. For being a one-hour session it is thorough, provides new topics, and gives SLPs additional therapy ideas to help patients. Includes adequate amounts of A/P review, provides solution to patient and SLP for improved swallowing ability, and gives the listener appropriate research." – A.D. (Apr. 2017)