Feeding Therapy: It’s Not Just about Swallowing 16 HR version

This unique 2-day course benefits pediatric speech language pathologists and occupational therapists interested in the bigger picture pertaining to pediatric feeding disorders. Therapists 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? What role could tethered oral tissues play in feeding function? 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!

Course Level: Intermediate

Course Objectives

Upon completing the 2-day seminar, participants will be able to:

  • 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 the 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
  • Understand and discuss the impact of tethered oral tissues, specifically upper lip tie and four types of tongue ties, on a child’s ability to develop age appropriate feeding skills
  • 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
  • Understand how to problem solve new challenges with future clients by systematically breaking the task into smaller steps and teaching one step at a time


Texas Children's Hospital - The Woodlands
17600 Interstate 45 South, Conference room WL.0280.01
The Woodlands, TX 77384




16 contact hours through  ASHA, TSHA and TOTA


Melanie 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.  Melanie’s articles, speaking schedule, free downloads and on-demand course for parents or professionals can be found at https://www.MelaniePotock.com, along with her contact information.


DAY 1 8:00 to 10:00 Introduction to Course & Understanding the Four Foundations for Learning to Eat

10:00 t0 10:15 break

10:15 to 11:00 Understanding the Four Foundations for Learning to Eat (Cont.)

11:00 to 12:00 Basic Principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

12:00 to 12:30 Establishing Stable Oral Motor Patterns for Eating

12:30 to 1:30 Lunch

1:30 to 2:45 How to Keep the Fun in Feeding: Consistent Progress with ABA

2:45 to 3:00 break

3:00 to 3:30 Setting Kids up for Success: Adapting Food

3:30 to 4:30 Parenting Strategies at Home

4:30 to 5:30 Tethered Oral Tissues – Upper Lip Ties and Feeding Function

DAY 2 8:00 to 9:00 Problem Solving Tongue Ties and Feeding Function

9:00 to 10:00 Problem Solving Challenges in the School Cafeteria

10:00 t0 10:15 break

10:15 to 12:30 Case Study #1 and Case Study #2

12:30 to 1:30 Lunch

1:30 to 2:30 Case Studies #3 and #4 with Q & A

2:30 to 2:45 break

2:45 to 3:15 Oral Motor Strategies for Developing the Mature Swallow Pattern

3:45 to 5:00 A Hierarchical Approach to Problem Solving Common Roadblocks:  Refusing to Sit, Eating Too Slowly, Throwing Food and More.

5:00 to 5:30 Self-reflection Requirement and Final Thoughts

(Please stay till 5:30 to be sure you get your CEUs!)


Candelwood Suites (The Woodlands 17525 St. Luke’s Way The Woodlands, Texas 77384 Hotel front desk: 1-936-271-2100 Request medical rate for Texas Children's Hospital