Best Practices in Pediatric Feeding, Motor Speech & Mouth Development

January 16-17, 2021

More children than ever need early intervention and other services.  nd, there are not enough available services. Therapists, early interventionists, parents, medical professionals, and others have seen a sharp rise in children with delayed and/or disordered feeding, speech, and mouth development. These include children with disabilities as well as many typically-born children who, for some reason, are not developing as expected. This is a literature-based, criterion-referenced course to help anyone interested in keeping and getting children, with or without disabilities, on track in feeding, speech, and mouth development. Participants learn functional, safe techniques to use in practice and to teach others. Group experiences and video demonstrations are provided throughout the course.

Course Objective

Participants will be able to:

  • Identify oral sensory-motor problems that impact feeding, speech, and mouth function in children without and with specific disabilities (e.g., autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, etc.).
  • Identify typical and atypical anatomy/physiology and feeding/speech/mouth function.
  • Identify appropriate treatments for feeding/speech/mouth function problems.
  • Apply general oral massage for appropriate populations (e.g., children with oral defensiveness, oral awareness problems, tonic bite, hyper-responsive gag, etc.).
  • Apply feeding techniques that can be safely used and taught to parents and care providers.

Target Audience: SLPs and assistants, OTs and assistants, early interventionists, lactation consultants, orofacial myofunctional therapists, dieticians, health educators, pediatricians, nurses, dental professionals, behavior specialists, psychologists, parents, and others who work with children’s feeding, speech, and mouth development.  While TalkTools welcomes all to attend and learn the course content, it is the responsibility of the professional to determine if applying the techniques fits within the scope of their practice.


Texas Children's Hospital
Feigin Center
1102 Bates, 14th Floor Conference Room D
Houston, TX 77030

Cost -  


Earned credits -  

1.2 contact hours or CCU’s through ASHA and AOTA

Registration - Register online


Diane Bahr, MS, CCC-SLP, CIMI, a certified Speech-Language Pathologist and Infant Massage Instructor, is a visionary with a mission. For almost 40 years she has treated children and adults with feeding, motor speech, and mouth function problems. While she is a Speech-Language Pathologist by training, she has also honed her skills as a feeding therapist, published author, international speaker, university instructor, and business owner. She maintains a private practice, writes articles appearing in a variety of publications, and is interviewed frequently on radio and for magazines. Diane is the author of the textbook Oral Motor Assessment and Treatment: Ages and Stages, and two parent-professional books Feed Your Baby and Toddler Right: Early Eating and Drinking Skills Encourage the Best Development, and Nobody Ever Told Me (or My Mother) That! Everything from Bottles and Breathing to Healthy Speech Development.


Morning Session - 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (BREAK – 10:30 a.m.)

  1. Key Assessment Concepts
  2. Disorders We Treat
  3. Useful Anatomy and Physiology
  4. Sensory Processing and Motor Function
  5. Typical Face and Mouth Development/Function
  6. Health Problems Our Clients Encounter

LUNCH – 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Afternoon Session – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (BREAK – 2:15 p.m.)

  1. Hand-Mouth Connection Activities
  2. Extinguishing Detrimental Oral Habits
  3. Teething and 4-Part Drooling Treatment
  4. Oral Massage, Jaw, and Respiratory Experiences
  5. Grading/Dissociation/Direction of Movement Activities
  6. Horns, Bubbles, and Other Respiratory Work


Morning Session – 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. (BREAK – 10:30 a.m.)

  1. Treatment Session Components/Suggestions/Modifications
  2. Infant Breastfeeding and Bottle-Feeding
  3. Spoon-Feeding
  4. Cup- and Straw-Drinking
  5. Taking Bites and Chewing
  6. Age-Appropriate Food and Liquid Progression (Literature-Based)
  7. Eating and Drinking Experience

LUNCH – 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Afternoon Session – 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (BREAK – 2:15 p.m.)

  1. Feeding Delays and Differences
  2. Resolving Picky/Selective Eating
  3. Typical Feeding Development Highlights (Literature-Based)
  4. Typical Speech and Communication Development (Literature-Based)
  5. Components of Intelligible Speech
  6. Childhood Dysarthria and Apraxia of Speech
  7. Motor Speech Treatment
  8. Auditory Processing, Teamwork, and Resources


Wyndham Medical Center
6800 Main
Houston, Texas 77030
Nightly rate: $115.00 (price varies based on room availability)

Ask for Texas Children’s Hospital ESP Rate

Hotel Registration link