This course is offered for 1.3 ASHA CEUs (Intermediate level, Professional area).

Feeding Therapy: It’s Not Just about Swallowing

This unique 2-day course benefits pediatric professionals interested in the bigger picture pertaining to pediatric feeding disorders. Professionals want strategies to implement right away with their clients. Why do children have trouble eating? How are physiology, motor skills and behavior linked and how do the basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) strengthen that connection? How do family dynamics and parenting styles influence progress? Why is it that a child eats well in the clinic setting but cannot generalize those skills to the home and school? This course answers those questions, provides practical strategies to implement with a variety of clients, and focuses on setting children up for success for meeting functional objectives while utilizing the premise of ABA. Participants learn how to problem solve common roadblocks in eating and then continue to build progress by following a hierarchy of steps to success. Most importantly, this course emphasizes the importance of keeping the fun in feeding while developing consistent positive behaviors at mealtimes so that everyone in the family can enjoy their time together around the family table!

This course is appropriate for feeding professionals with advanced education in pediatrics. These may include: Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Registered Dietitians, Board Certified Behavioral Analysts, Psychologists, and students in these fields.

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Learning Objectives

  • Discuss how protective behaviors develop when GI discomfort, sensory processing challenges, delayed gross and/or fine motor skills impact a child’s willingness to eat.
  • Apply gentle, basic principles of Applied Behavior Analysis to the treatment of pediatric feeding clients.
  • List 5 strategies for improving tongue mobility and developing mature swallowing patterns in children.
  • Describe how to teach the following skills to toddlers and older: biting, chewing, swallowing independently, straw and open cup drinking.
  • Implement a hierarchical method of problem solving to meet functional outcomes.
  • Identify specific solutions to new challenges with future clients by systematically breaking the task into smaller steps and teaching one step at a time.

Disclosure Statements:  All Courses by Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP

Financial: Ms. Potock receives royalties from products that she created on her website, including four books, children’s music CD and video courses.

Financial: Ms. Potock is sometimes paid for writing articles or providing expert advice to various media, and the information in those articles may or may not be shared today.  However, Ms. Potock does not benefit financially if attendees view or share those articles.

Financial: Ms. Potock is compensated for teaching all of her courses, including this course.

Non-Financial: Ms. Potock is a volunteer for the non-profit The Doctor Yum Project and the research on a preschool curriculum co-developed by Ms. Potock may be briefly discussed in this course.

Non-Financial: Ms. Potock volunteered her time to write monthly blog posts for The ASHA Leader blog for almost four years and has contributed content to the ASHA Leader Magazine on a volunteer basis.

About the Speaker

Melanie PotockMelanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP, treats children birth to teens who have difficulty eating. Melanie’s advice has been shared in a variety of television and print media, including Huffington Post and Parents Magazine. She is the co-author of the award-winning Raising a Healthy Happy Eater: A Stage-by-Stage Guide to Setting Your Child on the Path to Adventurous Eating (2015) and Baby Self-Feeding: Solutions for Introducing Purees and Solids to Create Lifelong Healthy Eating Habits (2016). Melanie is the author of Happy Mealtimes with Happy Kids (2010) and the producer of the award-winning kids’ CD Dancing in the Kitchen: Songs that Celebrate the Joy of Food! Her new book, Adventures in Veggieland: Help Your Child Learn to Love Vegetables with 100 Easy Activities and Recipes (2018) includes sensory-based food play as an integral part of a child’s food education. Please contact Melanie via her website at, where you’ll find over 50 articles to help children learn to love food and take the stress out of family mealtimes.

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