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.
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