The NM SAFE Program (Supports and Assessment for Feeding and Eating) conducts multidisciplinary team feeding evaluations of children and adults with developmental disabilities, for the purpose of improving health and preventing aspiration. The SAFE team includes a registered dietitian, physical therapist, physician and speech pathologist with expertise in swallowing disorders. Evaluations are available at the Albuquerque clinic or at selected community-based sites via interactive videoconferencing through the telemedicine network.
Evaluation sessions include observation and assessment of clients' oral motor skills, self-feeding ability and need for adaptive positioning or specialized eating equipment. Throughout the session, the team identifies appropriate eating and positioning techniques and demonstrates these to the client, family members and caregivers. An individualized mealtime program and videotape demonstrating recommended eating approaches are developed for each client for home use. Specialized eating utensils and supplies may be provided as needed.
In its role as a statewide resource for feeding issues, the NM SAFE Program helps families and caregivers to identify community supports for direct treatment services, adaptive equipment and follow-up care. In addition, the program provides technical assistance, consultation and continuing education for professionals and students involved in feeding individuals with developmental disabilities throughout the life span.
For further information about the program or to schedule a person for a SAFE evaluation, call Deirdre Muldoon at 505-272-5211.