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Desiree is a Speech Therapist who has a passion for children with feeding and swallowing difficulties. She has about 10 years of experience specialising in this area during her career at KKH. She worked closely with preterm infants in the NICU, advocating for their bottling and feeding through the development of a feeding pathway for very-low-birth-weight infants. She has also worked at the feeding clinics, with children who have dysphagia and other medical conditions like cerebral palsy, genetic disorders etc. She has a soft spot and is no stranger to the children on ventilatory support and tracheostomies who have feeding difficulties. Desiree empathises and understands that feeding is such an important aspect of a person’s life, not just for nutrition, but also for pleasure. Hence, her philosophy is to help her patients have a good quality of life, through having the pleasure of eating and drinking within the boundaries of what is safe.
Desiree obtained her degree, Bachelor of Applied Science (Speech Pathology) in 2006 from the University of Sydney. She went on to obtain her Masters in Health Sciences (Speech Pathology) in 2010. In 2012, Desiree was obtained the HMDP, to receive training in the United States of America. She went to John Hopkin’s Children Hospital in Baltimore, Kennedy Kriger Institute in Baltimore and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital in Cincinnati. She furthered her knowledge and skills in the area of dysphagia and feeding for children. She is currently registered under the Allied Healths Professions Council.
During her career at KKH, Desiree played an inaugural part, expanding the feeding clinic services and has contributed to clinical education and some research in this area. She set up the tracheostomy clinic, dysphagia clinic, preemie feeding clinic, fussy eater clinic, FEES (Fiberoptic Endoscopic Evaluation of Swallowing) clinic, GASTROFEED clinic with the gastroenterologists and dietitian, and helped develop a training program for nurses on feeding preterm infants.
She provided clinical education to other speech therapists in the team to develop their dysphagia skills and was also involved as an examiner at the National University of Singapore for student speech therapists. Desiree has also presented at workshops and symposiums on dysphagia, to doctors, nursing staff, other healthcare professionals and parents.
Desiree is a mother of two young daughters. As a mother to a fussy eater, she empathises and can relate to the feeding woes and worries a mother faces when feeding their child. She uses her knowledge as a feeding therapist and personal experiences to help the child and support the family. As the saying goes, it takes a whole village to raise a child.
Desiree is trained in:
- SOS Approach (Sequential Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding),
- Feeding Therapy: A Sensory Motor Approach
- Oro-motor therapy using TalkTools® equipment and food
- MORE – Integrating the Mouth with Sensory and Postural Functions