Cynthia Armstrong, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCS-S, CNT

“As a speech pathologist in the NICU, I was initially hesitant to become a CNT because I thought it would be more geared towards OT/PT studies. What I learned in my journey towards the certification is that everyone who comes in contact with an infant in the NICU benefits from the complex knowledge of neuro development. A different mindset, apart from simply “safe feeding” engulfed my daily practice. My OT coworker (and also CNT) and I began to tag-team ways to incorporate gentle, kind touch into each interaction with the infants. Often our efforts “rubbed off” on other coworkers and parents. My feeding skills have been enhanced by my all-in focus when encountering each baby. It’s not just safe feeding with no aspiration, it’s enjoyable experiences at each feeding time, whether bottle feeding or tube feeding. It’s preventing severe oral aversions in complex cases instead of undoing negative feeding experiences for years to come. I am a better therapist because of my studies to become a CNT.”