Basic Conference and Advanced Course Overviews

Basic 3.75 Day Conference

SOS Approach to Feeding is a transdisciplinary program for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties and weight/growth problems of all ages, with a special focus on children from 6 months to 7 years old. It integrates posture, sensory, motor, behavioral/learning, medical and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage childMadeline-Spoon-Feeding-isn't-comfortable-rev2ren with feeding/growth problems. The Basic course is a prerequisite for completing the online Advanced Workshops.


Learning Objectives

  • Identify oral, sensory, motor, cognitive and emotional developmental milestones key to feeding.
  • Recognize and describe the major reasons why children won’t eat, as based on learning theory principles.
  • Identify physical, behavioral, motor, oral-motor, cognitive and sensory factors as a part of a Feeding Assessment.
  • Apply behavioral and social learning principles, and systematic desensitization, to feeding problems.
  • Create and implement an SOS feeding program for babies, toddlers and young children, in group and individual treatment formats.

Advanced Workshops

Expanding on the SOS Approach to Feeding Basic Course, the Advanced Workshops addresses special populations and/or special topics in feeding.  Available online, these self-paced courses include:

For pricing and to register for the courses, visit http://spduniversity.org/course-list/#advanced

Children with Gastroesophageal Reflux

This Advanced Workshop provides additional education on the factors of gastroesophageal reflux that negatively impact a child’s feeding and why. Scheduling, positioning and other feeding strategies are provided to mitigate the challenges which Reflux creates for a child who suffers from this problem.

Objectives

  1. Define Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER)
  2. Describe at least 4 causes of GER
  3. List the major clinical signs of GER at each of the 5 ages from birth to 16 months
  4. Identify at least 3 feeding treatment strategies for helping to manage GER

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.


Feeding the 6-16 Month Old Child

This Advanced Workshop provides a “down ward” adaptation of the Basic SOS program for the young infant and toddler beginning solid foods at 6 months (baby foods, finger foods, table foods) through the transition off the bottle/breast and onto a full table foods diet at about 16-18 months of age. The workshop breaks this time period into 5 time periods and details how to feed a child at each of these stages with regards to feeding schedule, feeding techniques, positioning, types of foods offered and the role of developmental transitions in feeding at each age.

Objectives

  1. Review the basic therapeutic issues occurring during each of 5 time periods
  2. Identify structure/schedules/foods at each time period for helping babies and toddlers progress appropriately
  3. Provide therapy strategies for babies and toddlers who are struggling with eating and/or children with feeding delays

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.


Helping Children Transition Off Supplemental Tube Feedings

This Advanced Workshop outlines what is needed to help a child transition off supplemental tube feedings from the time the tube is placed. For children who come to the therapist with existing supplemental tube feedings, strategies are given to help eliminate the need for the tube. Three methods are given for weaning the child from the tube once all of the other components discussed above are in place. The need for working directly with a Registered Dietitian is emphasized.

Objectives

  1. Describe at least 3 common problems with NG-tubes;
  2. Identify at least 2 reasons why children gag and retch with tube feedings;
  3. Describe the optimal feeding environments and cues for  infants, toddlers and the older child;
  4. Discuss the criteria to discontinue G-tube feedings;
  5. List possible methods for weaning a child from a G-tube

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.

 

Feeding the Child on the Autism Spectrum

This Advanced Workshop outlines why children on the Autism Spectrum struggle so much more than other children with eating and feeding.  Challenges that are unique to children on the Autism Spectrum as identified by research are presented within each of the 7 areas of Human Functioning (the “iceberg”) discussed in the Basic SOS course.  Next, General Treatment Strategies that are recommended for all children on the Autism Spectrum will be discussed.  The last section of the course is dedicated to outlining how to make a “downward” adaptation of the Basic SOS program for the child on the severe end of the Autism Spectrum.

Objectives

  1. Describe the sensory problems of children with ASD that make feeding especially difficult for them;
  2. Describe at least 2 components of the Adaptation of the SOS Approach to Feeding for children with ASD;
  3. List at least 3 hierarchy strategies for children with ASD

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.

 

Food Scientist Model: SOS Approach to Feeding Adaptation for the School Aged Child

This Advanced Workshop presents an “upward” adaptation of the Basic SOS program for the child aged 6 years and older.  The first half of this course will describe how children in Concrete Operations are different and what changes to the Basic SOS program need to be made with regard to session structure, the Key Phrases, Food Hierarchies and Hierarchy Strategies.   The 3 levels of Food Science will be outlined, along with video demonstrating the differences in how to teach skills to the children at each of the 3 levels.  The second half of the course will present in detail, the lessons that are taught to the children and parents as a part of each Food Science session.

Objectives

  1. Describe the population for whom the “Food Scientist” adaptation is appropriate, and why an adaptation is needed;
  2. Describe the concept of “Being a Food Scientist”.
  3. Outline the differences in strategies between the Food Explorer and the Food Scientist in Concrete Operations versus Formal Operations

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course

 

Working with Children with Severe Developmental Impairments

This Advanced Workshop begins with outlining the similar challenges that children with severe developmental impairments have with learning to eat and general strategies to consider when working with any of these children and their families.  Next, 4 types of impairments will each be discussed and how to use the SOS Approach to Feeding techniques to help these children improve their feeding and eating skills.  Strategies for children with severe cognitive impairments, significant motor problems, visual impairments and swallowing challenges will be outlined.

Objectives

  1. Describe the role of cognitive development in working with children who are severely involved;
  2. Demonstrate a gradiated hierarchy of motor prompts and supports in working with a child who is severely motorically involved.
  3. Outline factors to consider in using feeding strategies when working with a visually impaired child

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.

 

Food Tolerance Decision Making

Over the years, we have seen a significant increase in the number of children suffering from food intolerances, food sensitivities and food allergies.  This Advanced Workshop will explain the differences between these different types of food problems and how they impact a child’s eating.  An overview of the assessment techniques typically used by the medical field will be given, along with appropriate ways that a Feeding Therapist can support the medical team through the process of identifying foods that may be problematic for a child.  Strategies that an SOS Feeding Therapist could use during feeding treatment to help these children will be outlined.

Objectives

  1. Distinguish scientific differences between Food Allergy and Food Intolerance
  2. Describe various clinic signs and symptoms of food allergy/intolerance
  3. Identify most common allergenic foods
  4. Describe the role of an SOS Feeding Therapist with children with food sensitivity issues

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course training.

 

From Lunchables to Lunch and Variety to Volume

This Advanced Workshop helps attendees continue to refine their abilities with regard to creating Food Hierarchies which improve children’s skills with eating “real meals” that include mixed textures, ethnic foods and other types of more adult versus kid foods.  This workshop will also focus on SOS Approach to Feeding strategies for helping children who have developed good eating skills, but still continue to struggle with taking in adequate volumes to meet their daily calorie goals.

Objectives

  1. Discuss progression from variety to “meals”
  2. Describe how to combine foods from a hierarchy to create “mealtime foods”
  3. Describe strategies to increase volume/calories of foods ingested

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.

 

Tools in your Pantry

This Advanced Workshop helps attendees refine their abilities with regard to creating Food Hierarchies which better meet the sensory and oral-motor skill development needs of the children they work with.  Additional strategies for “using food as the tool” in feeding therapy will also be discussed.  Lastly, the new Oral-motor Steps to Eating hierarchy will be presented.  Dr. Toomey, Dr. Ross and other Speech Pathologists at SOS Feeding Solutions @ STAR spent over a year in discussion to expand the Tasting and Eating steps from the Basic SOS course.  The new Oral-Motor Steps to Eating Hierarchy details an additional 30-32 steps that we see children with significant oral-motor issues need to acquire during the process of learning to eat.

Objectives

  1. Describe properties of food as they relate to oral-motor skills;
  2. Determine oral-motor needs through video assessments;
  3. Assemble foods to meet specific oral-motor activities

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.

 

Parents as Partners: Helping the “Challenging” Family

This Advanced Workshop is designed to help Feeding Therapists better understand what makes working with families of children with feeding difficulties so much more challenging than many other types of disorders.  The experiences of being a parent of a child who does not eat will be discussed along with what a Feeding Therapist can do to be helpful to parents going through this process.  In addition, participants in this workshop will be asked to take a Self-Test to look at what their own strengths and weaknesses are when working with these types of families, and what types of biases we may be bringing to the table.  Strategies for helping ourselves be better therapists will be given, along with how to teach each of the Parent Lessons that are a part of the SOS Approach to Feeding program.

Objectives

  1. Identify what makes a family challenging;
  2. Explain the role of parental anxiety in compliance;
  3. Identify strategies for improving communication;
  4. Review Parent Lessons “behind the mirror”

Prerequisite: Requires attendee to have completed the Basic SOS Approach to Feeding training program and provide Certificate of Attendance from the Basic course.

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