In her debut book, Chasing the Swallow: Truth, Science, and Hope for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders, Michelle Dawson, MS CCC-SLP, CLC dispels the myth that behavioral feeding aversions are the most common source of a child’s refusal to eat, by guiding the reader on how to uncover the true medical etiology driving their patient’s pediatric feeding disorder by engaging in interprofessional practice education and practice. Chasing the Swallow, which is inspired by the intimate conversations that have been the joy of “First Bite: Fed, Fun, Functional,” a Speech Therapy Podcast, emphasizes how the parent and caregiver are at the core of the decision-making for evaluation and treatment in any child’s pediatric feeding disorder and serves as a compass rose on how to make your professional voice heard in the process of creating a village for each child’s journey. In true Michelle fashion, readers are inspired to lean in and take the next step to advocate for each infant, toddler, and child on their caseload, all while laughing through her relatable and heartfelt personal experiences.

Be sure to visit for 1.35 ASHA CEUs that accompany the book! To learn more, click here.

Praise for Chasing the Swallow

“If you’ve met Michelle, you know that she brings a personal element to her courses and her podcast. This book is no different, as she helps therapists “chase the swallow” while sharing case studies and her personal insights. Glad I have this resource on my bookshelf, thank you, Michelle!”

Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP
Author/Co-author of Responsive Feeding/Adventures in Veggieland/Raising a Healthy Happy Eater/You are Not an Otter

“Anyone who has listened to Michelle on her podcast, “First Bite: Fed, Fun, Functional” knows just how knowledgeable this gifted SLP is, and this book, is a GIFT to all who want to really learn about Pediatric Feeding Disorders. Through a series of case studies, Michelle walks the reader through the process of figuring out the etiology/etiologies that are the reason for the challenges the child and family are experiencing. Each case study serves to highlight a different set of signs and symptoms and the specialists needed to help figure things out. The book is a guiding light for SLP’s and others in the pediatric feeding community, on how to go about putting together a care team for the treatment of the whole child. Michelle’s honesty, plus her willingness to be less than perfect (and completely human) helps engage the reader, and the various rabbit holes that these complex cases send her and the other medical professionals make for fascinating reading. An absolute MUST HAVE for anyone looking to work in the world of pediatric feeding disorders. And while Michelle works in EI, the case studies within this book will help support a better understanding of how to support children from recent NICU grads well into school age! Thank you Michelle for this wonderful book!”

Barbara Coven-Ellis MA, CCC-SLP

“As a new PFD clinician, I cannot understate how thrilled I am about this book. “Chasing the Swallow” quickly became the most frequently referenced book on my shelf this past month. Michelle empowers us to create our own “IPP villages” as she shares her wealth of knowledge, variety of clinical experiences, and unwavering encouragement. Her passion for supporting the current and future generations of feeding therapists, by fueling us with “Truth, Science, and Hope,” is refreshing and appreciated. “Chasing the Swallow” challenges us to always seek the root, or the why, of a PFD through engaging in interprofessional practice. As a feeding therapist I often feel overwhelmed trying to navigate when to refer, who to consult, and why. Michelle supports us on our journey by providing an easy to read handbook that serves as a functional guide to bringing IPP into our practice.

The day I received this book I immediately flipped to the “Geneticists” chapter, because I had a patient I was hesitating to make a referral for. This section alone gave me the critical information and the push I needed to have a crucial conversation with my patient’s family that week. Beyond the science and practical information, Michelle shares her clinical experiences that bring it all to life, help you apply the information to case studies, and will no doubt touch your heart (I was not prepared for how frequently I’d weep tears of empathy and joy for the families she has touched). “Chasing the Swallow” surpasses your typical pediatric dysphagia textbook by bringing to light both the heavy burdens and the pure triumphs we carry on our backs as PFD clinicians and advocates. As Michelle says, this field is in its’ infancy and we must be diligent about using our EBP triangle to inform how we evaluate and treat our patients. I’m SO grateful to have this trusted tool in my box to guide my clinical decisions.”

Taylor Anderson, MS CF-SLP

“Michelle Dawson, MS, CCC-SLP, CLC is by far my favorite conference and podcast presenter and I can now honestly say she’s one of my favorite AUTHORS! In this book Chasing the Swallow, Truth, Science and Hope for Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Disorders, Michelle was able to beautifully organize a huge amount of information regarding children with PFD and encourage therapists to confidently communicate with other professionals that are (or need to be) a part of the feeding team. In each chapter, she presented case studies and emphasized the need for appropriate referrals, while also listing other diagnoses that would require a referral to the same type of professional.

After seeing Michelle present at a conference and listening to 10-15 of her podcasts, I can truly hear her talking in her book! Saying “I love this book” is a huge understatement. I ADORE this book and know I will constantly be reaching for it during practice. I’ll not only reference it for the huge amount of information it provides but for encouragement to refer to the appropriate professionals and ask the hard questions when being the voice for our kiddos with PFD. If you’re a therapist or professional working in the world of PFD, BUY THIS BOOK! I promise you won’t regret it and this will be your new favorite book!!”

Melissa Davis MA CCC-SLP

“AMAZING! Very resourceful, knowledgeable, and everything is worded beautifully! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!”

Kimberly Lundy

“Chasing the Swallow helps clinicians look past the mouth into the multiple layers of influence on eating and mealtimes. It takes a team! Michelle “gets” that feeding struggles are hard for parents and that they are central in the team effort needed to support these children.”

Marsha Dunn Klein OTR/L, MEd, FAOTA, Author of Anxious Eaters, Anxious Mealtimes

“Pure Gold! Every page is pure nerdy SLP gold!”

Natasha McNeil, MCD, CCC-SLP, Pediatric Home Health

“Michelle has written an essential guide to navigating and collaborating within the vast and often confusing world of Pediatric Feeding Disorders. Her practical wisdom on working with and learning from other practitioners would be enough to recommend this book, but it is her obvious passion and joy for her work that truly sets this book apart. Keep this book as a reference or better yet, read it cover-to-cover. You won’t be disappointed.”

Tessa V. Gonzalez, MD FAAP, Board Certified General Pediatrician

“Michelle has done an amazing job writing this book about pediatric feeding and swallowing disorders. Her book has a mixture of humor, science, and personal clinical experiences and is a great resource for any clinician looking to further their knowledge of the world of PFD. I love that it gives everyone a chance to experience what riding shotgun in her car as a graduate clinician would be like!”

Stephanie Schank, MSP, CCC-SLP, Inpatient/Outpatient Children’s Hospital