DiagnosTEX July 2017 Newsletter


DiagnosTEX July 2017 Newsletter

By: Ronda Polansky M.S. CCC-SLP

Happy Independence Day! God Bless the USA!

Happy 4th of July to everyone celebrating our country’s independence but don’t forget to honor our veterans and current military who have served to ensure our FREEDOM!

  We know that freedom does not come free… there is a cost! 

History of Independence Day – Each year on July 4, cities and people across the country celebrate Independence Day by lighting off fireworks. According to the Consumer Expenditure Survey, Americans spend more than $420,000,000 a year on fireworks. The figure doesn’t include the amount of money private and government organizations buy for public shows. As we look toward this weekend and honor our country’s 241th birthday on Independence Day, now is the perfect time to learn how exactly Independence Day was formed and how our country was able to break free from the British. Jefferson presented the Declaration of Independence to the Continental Congress with some minor changes that overlapped on July 3 and into the late afternoon of July 4. The declaration was then officially adopted. On July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, an event which eventually led to the formation of the United States. John Hancock, President of the Continental Congress, signed the Declaration of Independence. It is said that John Hancock’s signed his name “with a great flourish” so England’s “King George can read that without spectacles!

DiagnosTEX will be closed Tuesday July 4th to celebrate our precious freedom

Other July Holidays I bet you did not know about

Air-Conditioning Appreciation Days (7/3 to 8/15) – We truly appreciate it here in Texas June, July, & August

Cell Phone Courtesy Month – Like anyone will acknowledge this!

Herbal/Prescription Interaction Awareness Month –there is very little awareness of this

National Blueberries Month – prevent Alzheimer’s by eating your blueberries daily!

National Grilling Month – sounds like a good month for this!

National Ice Cream Month – and for this…….

National Hot Dog Month – this is just the American way!

National Honey Month – the bees are active this time of year!

National Make a Difference to Children Month – they are all out of school, spend some time with them

National Parks & Recreation Month – Picnic time!

National Vacation Rental Month – Let’s go!

National Watermelon Month – This definitely belongs in July!

National Wheelchair Beautification Month – Woohooo! Let’s decorate!!!


Upcoming Summer CEU opportunities

ASHA Connect 2017 Conference – July 6-9 in New Orleans

Deciphering Dysphagia with Ampcare ESP™

July 14, 2017 – Greensboro, NC

July 19, 2017 – Colorado Springs, CO

July 29, 2017 – Lufkin, TX

August 18, 2017 – Albuquerque, NM



Our local SLP feature month! We have started a new feature to the newsletter by highlighting some of our great SLP’s in DFW! For July we would like to feature Chelsea Maxey. Chelsea impressed our SLP’s as she listens openly to recommendations, ask great questions regarding both diet and treatment and is genuinely motivated to learn more through reading and research. Chelsea works home health and has been practicing as an SLP for 1 year after graduating from St. Edwards University in Austin. She was also a special needs teacher through Teach for America in Charlotte, NC for 2 years.  She is a local girl born in Arlington. Chelsea favorite population to treat is adult dysphagia and also utilizing her company, Encompass, Memory Care Program for patients with dementia.  We love her support of charities which include the Alzheimer’s Association and the Special Olympics!  She is married and has a 4 legged child who is an Australian Shepard.  Her hobbies include traveling, trying new dining locations, and crocheting, which is actually taught by 2 of her dementia patients (LOVE THIS!!!). She is a true native Texas girl after my own heart as her favorite food is chips and queso!  Our motto here is Chips, Queso, Repeat!  We appreciate Chelsea’s trust in us and choosing us as part of her dysphagia management team. We feel her patients are benefitting greatly from her care, compassion, and support, as well as her willingness to learn and advance herself in this field.


Dysphagia Tidbit – Cleft and Dysphagia – July is National Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention Month.

Cleft Palate has a prevalence of 6.35/10,000 live births, with 2,651 new cases annually. Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate has a prevalence of 10.63/10,000 live births, with 4,437 new cases annually. (The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) National Birth Defects Prevention Network) Cleft Lip with or without Cleft Palate happens twice as often in males, whereas a cleft of the palate alone occurs more often in females (Owens, Metz, & Haas, 2007, p. 325). Incidence of Cleft Lip/Palate varies by ethnicity, with those of Native American descent having the highest prevalence and those of African descent, the lowest. There are different types of Cleft Lip (CL) and Cleft Palate (CP):

Bilateral: two sides – Bilateral Cleft of the Lip means that both the right and left sides of the lip are affected.   A bilateral complete cleft of the lip and palate extends into the palate as well. It is the most severe kind of cleft because so many of the oral structures and tissues (lips, gums, palate) are missing.

Unilateral: one side – Unilateral Cleft of the Lip means that one side of the lip, usually the left, is cleft. This will cause that side of the nose to flare out and the columellar (strip that divides the nostrils) to deviate to the other side. A complete unilateral cleft of the lip and palate would indicate that the cleft extends into the palate, cutting through the gum.

Other, less severe clefts:

Submucous clefts – in contrast to cleft lip/palate, a submucous cleft can remain undetected for a while. It is found towards the back of the mouth, known as the soft palate. The soft palate is supposed to be soft because it is muscular, not bony, which enables it to move up and down to aid swallowing and speaking. A submucous cleft occurs when those muscles fail to fuse. The cleft is covered by a thin layer of tissue –   which is what hides the defect.

Bifid uvula – The uvula is the thing that hangs down in the back of our throats. When the uvula is bifid – it is split. This usually indicates the presence of a submucous cleft, but not always.

It is well documented in the literature that for safe and successful bottle-feeding to occur, the relationship between the acts of sucking, swallowing, and breathing have to coordinate accurately and effectively with one another. The coordination of pharyngeal and laryngeal musculature with the airway patent for breathing but protected for swallowing also has to be precise (Brodsky, 1997). A difficulty at any stage of this coordination process will have an adverse effect on the other stages of swallowing and puts the infant at risk for laryngeal penetration (“food or liquid penetrating the laryngeal inlet to just above the level of the vocal folds and clearing”) or aspiration (“food or liquid entering the trachea/airway”) (Hiorns and Ryan, 2006, p. 918). The possible risks and consequences of aspiration are that the infant’s airway is endangered by the production of mechanical obstruction and bacterial pneumonia, which can result in long-term complications such as recurrent pneumonia and bronchitis (Arvedson and Brodsky, 2002).

Dysphagia and Nutrition Problems in Infants With Apert Syndrome -Valerie Pereira,, M.Sc., M.R.C.S.L.T., Paul Sacher,, R.D., M.B.D.A., Martina Ryan,, M.R.C.S.L.T., L.R.C.S.L.T., Richard Hayward,, F.R.C.S.