Airway for the Early Interventionist: Beyond Aspiration

Presented by Lauren Ruffrage, MS CCC-SLP, TSSLD

Access Pass Member Exclusive

Course Description

This course will provide a foundation for understanding the significance of airway health and how it ultimately links back to oral dysfunction in the first years of life. It is every early interventionists’ responsibility to know and act upon the signs and symptoms of airway function disorders in children. Resources will be reviewed for next […]
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AdultPediatricSLPFeeding and Swallowing

Meet Your Presenter

Lauren Ruffrage received her Master of Science at Ithaca College and became an ASHA certified Speech-Language Pathologist in 2009. She has experience with treating clients from infancy through adulthood. Her passion lies in pediatrics, with whom she has worked for the last 12 years. Her specialty experience includes work in a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) in New Jersey for six years and working with children with medically complex needs at Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla, NY for three years. Additionally, she has worked with tracheostomy and ventilator-dependent children using the Passy Muir Speaking Valve to promote communication and swallowing. Lauren is also the owner and founder of Thrive SPOT, a home health business that specializes in feeding, speech sound production, and orofacial myofunctional therapy in Syracuse, NY. She provides services to families in their home and the daycare or school setting. Lauren runs a free parent support group that hosts different professional speakers to help families connect within their community to the providers who can serve them. Lauren is a volunteer for Feeding Matters and the New York State Speech Language Hearing Association. She is an Airway Oriented Provider, which means her clinical procedures (assessment, treatment, and referrals) are guided by the understanding that airway health and breathing habits impact development and are linked to physical and emotional well-being throughout the life-span. She is committed to life-long learning and advocacy on the behalf of her families


  • This program is offered for .1 ASHA CEUs, (Introductory Level).

Course Details

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe your role as an early intervention provider in airway health.
  2. Identify red flags for airway function disorders in the early intervention population (0-5 years old).
  3. List three barriers to treatment of airway function disorders.
  4. List three resources to learn more about pediatric airway health.

Time-ordered Agenda

  • 0:00 - Define upper/lower airway, airway patency, and aspiration
  • 0:05 - Nasal breathing vs. mouth breathing
  • 0:10 - Why we mouth breathe
  • 0:15 - Sleep disordered breathing: types and red flags
  • 0:20 - Sleep disordered breathing: impacts on development
  • 0:25 - Research study on sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), American Dental Association
  • 0:30 - How did we get here? epigenetics and industrialization
  • 0:35 - Airway connection to feeding and oral function
  • 0:40 - Orofacial myofunctional therapy and the tongue's role in our airway
  • 0:45 - Barriers to treatment of airway function disorders
  • 0:50 - Resources for professionals and parents
  • 0:55 - Q/A
  • 1:0 - End course + quiz

Instructional Level

Information is geared to practitioners with little or no knowledge of the subject matter. Focus is on providing general introductory information.

Target Audience

SLPs both adult-based and pediatric-based.

Live Course Information

This course will be presented on the Zoom platform. High-speed internet connection is required.

Recorded Course Information

This course will be available for CEUs until January 18th, 2028.

Instructor Financial Disclosures

  • Presenter is being paid by Therapy Insights to prepare and present this course.

Instructor Non-financial Disclosures

  • Presenter is a member of the Myo Membership created by Hallie Balkin. I have been interviewed on a podcast episode by Children's Airway First Foundation.

Certificates of Completion

Once the exam is completed and you have provided feedback about the course, you will receive an emailed certificate of completion with course title, course instructor name/title, learning objectives, your name, your license number (if desired), and a confirmation from the CE Task Force director confirming completion of course. If your state licensing board requires specific records of course participation (all licensing boards are different), please email us and we will provide the documentation.

Instructional Methodology


Refunds & Cancellation

Please see our full refund and cancellation policies here.

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