Pediatric Feeding: The Big Picture Module 3 – Motor

There is a great need for therapists competent in evaluating and treating pediatric feeding disorders. Yet few have received adequate training in this area in school. Many therapists wonder, “What happens if I get this wrong? Can I do damage as a feeding therapist? And who is supposed to treat this, anyway?”

In this third module in our series, we continue laying the groundwork for the critical task of evaluating and treating pediatric feeding disorders by focusing on the oral motor skills necessary for safe and effective chewing and swallowing. We discuss the importance of differentiating tone and strength, the research regarding what is necessary to strengthen muscles, and which muscles to focus on. As a group, we will brainstorm on applying this knowledge to specific activities to be used for strengthening the muscles of the jaw, cheeks, lips, and tongue. The emphasis is on the relationship between the sensory and motor systems and how this drives our therapy.

Key Learning Outcomes:
  1. Distinguish tone versus strength and discuss the influence of each on feeding skills.
  2. Summarize the current research on “oral motor therapy”and what constitutes evidence-based practice in this area.
  3. Compose a list of therapy activities for individual patients based on their current motor skills.


15 minTone versus Strength
15 minEvidence-based Practice in Oral Motor Strengthening
20 minActivities and Tools for Strengthening the Muscles of the Jaw
20 minActivities and Tools for Strengthening the Muscles of the Cheeks
20 minActivities and Tools for Strengthening the Muscles of the Lips
20 minActivities and Tools for Strengthening the Muscles of the Tongue
10 minQ and A


2 hours.    

About the Presenter:

Jennifer Meyer is a popular national speaker in the areas of NICU and Pediatric Dysphagia and has received exceptional ratings for her courses. She has over 25 years experience specializing in pediatric feeding disorders, working in Neonatal Intensive Care Units, developing outpatient hospital-based feeding programs, providing consultation and program development for Early Childhood Intervention Programs and Home Health Companies, and serving as Assistant Clinical Professor at Texas Woman’s University and Clinical Coordinator of the Center for Assisting Families with Feeding and Eating (CAFFE).  
Presenter Disclosures:
Jennifer Meyer is a co-owner of CEU-Espresso, Inc. and was paid an honorarium for this presentation. She owns a private practice, Feeding and Dysphagia Resources, P. C. in Denton, TX.
Jennifer is a personal friend of the developer of the Res-Q Infant Wedge, sometimes mentioned in her presentations.  
Sponsor Disclosure:
This course is presented by CEU-Espresso, Inc.  
Content Disclosure:
This learning event does not focus exclusively on any specific product or service.
AOTA Approved Provider Logo
CEU Espresso is an Approved Provider for AOTA #11452 (OTs).
This course provides 0.2 AOTA CEUs.
AOTA Classification Codes:
Category 1 Domain of OT: Activities of Daily Living
Category 2 OT Process: Evaluation
Category 2 OT Process: Intervention
ASHA Brand Block for CEU Espresso
CEU Espresso, Incorporated is an ASHA Approved CE Provider #ABFO.
This course is offered for 0.2 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area).
ASHA CE Provider approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products or clinical procedures.


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