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Featured Course – Normal Swallowing in Healthy Term Infants: Are Signs of Aspiration a Normal Variant?

“I have been so curious for years to hear the frequency of coughing in healthy term infants. Thank you Dr. McGrattan for your research and dedication to this topic!” – Ashleigh Connell, MA, CCC-SLP, CNT

Topic: Normal Swallowing in Healthy Term Infants: Are Signs of Aspiration a Normal Variant?

Course Description:

Background: Feeding therapists regularly evaluate infants for signs of aspiration during feeds (1,7). When such events are detected, interventions to mitigate these occurrences are applied (1,2-6). Interestingly, it is widely accepted within the adult literature that occasional instances of aspiration are a normal variant of function that pose no deleterious pulmonary effects in healthy individuals (8). However, little is known regarding these normal correlates of aspiration in infants (9). The aim of the investigation (discussed in this presentation) is to fill this void by establishing objective normal correlates of feeding performance among healthy, non-dysphagic infants.

Speaker Bios:

Katlyn McGrattan,
 PhD, CCC-SLP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Science at the University of Minnesota and a Speech Pathologist at Masonic Children’s Hospital. She completed doctoral training in Health & Rehabilitation Science at the Medical University of South Carolina, and post-doctoral training in Neonatal Gastroenterology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Her research focuses on the use of refined physiologic assessment to identify impairments in neonatal upper aerodigestive physiology and apply targeted therapeutic interventions to maximize treatment effect.

Morgan Zoeller, MA, CF-SL is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she earned her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. She received her bachelor’s degree in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from Northern Michigan University. During her graduate career, she was a graduate student assistant for the University of Minnesota lab: Consortium for Pediatric Aerodigestive Advancement (CPAA) directed by Dr. Katlyn E. McGrattan. In addition, she completed clinical placements across the lifespan including pediatric acute care as well as skilled nursing facilities. Currently, she is a clinical fellow in Speech-Language Pathology working in the medical setting in both acute care and inpatient rehabilitation.

Target Audience: SLP, OT, PT, neonatal and pediatric professionals

Educational Level: Intermediate

CE Credit: 1 hour for SLP, OT, PT

Fee: $57 or Free for NANT Members


  1. Identify the percent of infants who cough during breast and bottle feeds.
  2. Identify the range of coughing episodes that can be observed during feeds in healthy normal infants.
  3. List how the proportion of feeds with a cough change throughout the first month of life.

Instructional Methods: Recorded webinar, lecture, and case studies. Learning assessment and course evaluation follow course.

Click here to learn more and/or take this course now.

“Great focus on feeding as an acquired skill with healthy, term newborns often being disorganized. Appreciated the advice to watch for feeding patterns and skill development rather than looking at an isolated episode. Obviously, consider the overall presentation when raising the level of concern.” – Julie A. Dunlap, MS, CCC-SLP

“Fascinating presentation- glad that this research is being generated.” – Emily Bordier, MS, CCC-SLP, CNT