Treating Complex Feeding Problems: Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

Sep 21, Friday – Sep 22, Saturday 8:00am – 5:30pm

Treating Complex Feeding Problems: Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

September 21 - 22, 2018

Friday 8:30am - 5:30pm, Saturday 8am - 4pm

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Course Description:

This course will focus on clinical decision making and treatment strategies to manage complex feeding and swallowing disorders in infants, toddlers and preschoolers across multiple settings including the NICU, Early Intervention/home, and outpatient settings. Participants will enhance their skills in assessment and integration of medical history when developing and implementing a plan of care. Focus will include specific treatment interventions as well as how to develop realistic programs for parents and for generalization across settings. Clinical reasoning skills will take into consideration current research, knowledge of outcomes and priority setting. Detailed discussions of medically fragile infants including treatment strategies for specific etiologies such as lip/tongue tie, Down Syndrome, IDM, cleft lip/palate, neurologic diagnoses will also be involved. Infant feeding information will include evaluation and treatment for both breast and bottle fed infants.  Discussions of more complex case histories will be provided during course to allow participants brainstorming and practice. 

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Integrate a thorough case history with assessment in a child with feeding difficulties.
  • Describe the interaction between medical and developmental levels as they relate to feeding progression.
  • Utilize knowledge of neuroprotective or developmental appropriate care to establish a treatment plan for feeding succession.
  • Utilize successful strategies for feeding therapy regiments as they relate to different etiologies.
  • Determine how to establish education criterion for families based on feeding progression needs.

Day One Schedule
8:00        Registration
8:30        Sucking, swallowing, and neurodevelop­ment: Pre-feeding skills in infants Looking at how neurodevelopment affects feeding skills (including skills developed in-utero) pre-feeding readi­ness, including screening tools available.
10:00      Break
10:15      Barriers to Oral Feeding: Why aren't kids eating? A look at breakdown in collaborative care, facility feeding models (cue-based vs. scheduled feeding), and medical difficulties.
12:00     Lunch (on your own)
1:00       Case History: How each piece matters? Thoroughly evaluating all parts of medi­cal history to determine etiology for feeding difficulty for proper management and development of plans of care.
2:00        Assessment across setting: NICU, EI/home, OPD Including feeding evaluation with breast, bottle, and/or foods, MBS and FEES: Determining most appropriate evaluation strategies for each infant/child.
3:30        Break
3:45        Assessment (Cont.)
4:45-5:30 Nutrition/Weight Gain/Intake: Breastmilk, Formula, and Food Looking at how nutrition shapes feeding difficulties and getting the most "bang for your buck" as well as how to work collaboratively with colleagues including pediatricians, dieticians and other therapists and families.
Day Two Schedule

8:00       Treatment: Complex feeding across settings including specialty populations such as cleft, IDM, down syndrome, NAS, and lip/tongue ties.
9:30       Functional goals for each age/setting based on treatment strategies identified.
10:30     Break
10:45     Treatment techniques: Feeding behaviors, sensory, motor and behavioral therapy. How to design functional treatment plans based on needs of patient and families
12:00      Lunch (on your own)
1:00        Treatment techniques continued: Bottles, nipples, spoons, cups, positioning, and more. How selection of therapy tools and techniques can change plans of care
2:30        Break
2:45-4:00 Case Analysis with Active Participation Provide participants with case studies to develop evaluation strategies and treatment plans

Presenter: Amber Valentine, SLP

Amber Valentine is a Speech-Language Pathologist who graduated from the University of Kentucky with her MS in Communication Disorders.  She is a Board Certified Specialist in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.  She worked for Baptist Health Systems, Inc for 8 years before moving to Florida where she worked for Wolfsons Children’s Hospital and Mayo Florida.  She is now back in Kentucky working for Baptist Health Lexington.  She has experience in adults and pediatrics with feeding and swallowing difficulties including:  bedside swallow evaluations, Modified Barium Swallow studies, FEES, and pediatric feeding evaluations including NICU.  She has provided guest lectures for the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville on feeding and swallowing topics. She has presented at the hospital level, local, state, national, and international levels on pediatric feeding/swallowing and breastfeeding

Suggested Audience:

Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists and Assistants, Developmental Special­ists, Registered Dieticians and other professionals involved in the assessment and treatment of infants and young children with feeding and swallow­ing disorders in the hospital, home, EI and preschool environments. Neonate to 3 years.

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September 21 - 22, 2018, Friday – Saturday




This course meets the criteria for 14 contact hours (1.4 CEU's).

This course is offered for up to 1.4 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Mary Bridge Children's Therapy Puyallup
402 15th AVE SE
Puyallup, WA 98372

Click here for direction to CTU


Register through Education Resources Inc.

Education Resources, Inc.
266 Main St., Suite 12 • Medfield, MA 02052
(508) 359-6533 or 800-487-6530 (outside MA)
FAX (508) 359-2959

Location Details

402 15th AVE SE-
Puyallup, WA 98372

Contact Details

[email protected]

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