Full Course Description

Complex Feeding Issues: Sensory, Motor, and Behavior Techniques for Autism, Cerebral Palsy and other Developmental Delays

Program Information

Target Audience

Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists


  1. Evaluate how sensory processing, behavior and oral motor skills impact or interfere with each child’s ability to eat.
  2. Role Play how to implement sensory techniques during and prior to meal times to address difficulties such as not wanting to touch certain foods or sitting at the table.
  3. Implement oral motor exercises and strategies to promote feeding patterns such as rotary chewing pattern, lip closure and tongue lateralization.
  4. Analyze the misconceptions about feeding that impact special needs children.
  5. Evaluate the behaviors that interfere with eating and devise strategies to address the behavior.
  6. Support and guide the parents, caregivers and other family members through often emotional or stressful meal times.


  • Complex Feeding Issues
    • Common misconceptions explained
    • Overlap of sensory processing skills, oral motor skills and behaviors
    • Normal development key points
  • Evaluation of Feeding Skills
    • Observations: sensory or behavior responses
    • Oral motor evaluation for jaw, lips, and tongue strength and range of motion for feeding
    • Foods that give you information quick
    • Quick sensory tasks for a sensory profile
    • Case study: Putting it all together.
    • Video of evaluations, and case studies
  • Techniques and Treatment Strategies
    • Autism
      • Address food jags
      • Make food fun: sticks, cubes and more to increase oral motor skills
      • Address mealtime behaviors such as not sitting and throwing food
      • Easy ways to regulate arousal at the table using breathing and proprioceptive input
      • Systemic desensitization to address tactile over responsivity
      • Video case study
    • Cerebral Palsy
      • Oral motor exercises to promote rotary chewing, tongue lateralization and lip closure
      • Easy techniques to Increase under responsivity
      • Tone management for increased range of motion in lips and cheeks
      • Hand to mouth connection
      • Handling and seating techniques
      • Exercises to decrease tongue thrust
      • Sensory input to increase oral motor muscle responsivity
      • Stretching the oral facial muscle to regulate
      • tone for chewing and straw drinking
      • Video case examples
    • Other Development Delays (Down Syndrome, Failure to Thrive, and Global Delays)
      • Easy sensory techniques for children with decreased vision and cortical vision impairment
      • Address cognitive delays using sensory processing and motor skills
      • Oral motor exercises and “mealtime concepts” for children who do not eat by mouth
      • Failure to thrive: make fun food and increase interest
      • Video case examples
    • Promote Carry- Over at Home
      • Education of family and caregiver on complexity of feeding
      • Create peaceful mealtime at home through routine
      • Easy oral motor exercises during play and mealtimes
      • Easy sensory activities to promote attention and regulation during mealtime

Copyright : 04/20/2018

Mealtime Success: Transform Food Refusal Into Food Acceptance



  • Commonalities in the epidemics of autism, obesity, GI inflammation, and diabetes
  • Need for multifaceted nutritionally-based approach to these conditions
  • Importance of child-centered approach for long-term successful outcomes


  • Biomedical reasons for refusal to eat
  • Sensory processing factors that affect food choices
  • Research supporting the benefits of enjoying what we eat
  • Use positive behavioral reinforcement to get improved food exploration
  • Case studies


  • Common food “addictions ” that affect nutrition and health
  • Nutrition impact on neurodevelopment and autism
  • Food journals to assess nutritional needs
  • Food journals to assess sensory preferences
  • Create food chains to expand a child’s diet
  • Case studies


  • Why children (and the adults who care for them) make toxic food choices
  • Research on the importance of family meals
  • Re-establish healthy roles and responsibilities
  • Assist caregivers with meal planning
  • Case studies


  • Problems of trust for “super-tasters” and “super-smellers”
  • Use developmental assessments to determine readiness for mealtime skills
  • Create play-based programs to develop comfort with unfamiliar foods
  • Case studies


  1. Communicate commonalities in the development of play, emotional intelligence and mealtime skills.
  2. Determine common myths about picky eaters and the research-based evidence that contradicts these commonly held assumptions.
  3. Analyze and differentiate a child’s current food choices for nutritional value and sensory preferences
  4. Formulate a plan for successfully introducing new and nourishing foods.
  5. Integrate therapeutic interventions that motivate and reward expanded food choices and the development of competent eating skills.

Program Information

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Nurses, Teachers/Educators, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists & Occupational Therapy Assistants, Physical Therapists/Physical Therapy Assistants,Registered Dietitians & Dietetic Technicians,and other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 03/28/2014