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Children are born with the inner ability to eat and to grow appropriately. During infancy they learn to interact with adults as they expand their eating skills and enjoy both the food and the mealtime environment. Some children experience a disruption of this normal cycle because of difficulties in physical, sensory, gastrointestinal, and environmental skills and opportunities. The workshop will explore some of the roadblocks that limit the development of eating skills and comfort in order to help children return to their natural desire to be part of mealtimes.  Strategies designed to increase feeding skills within the mealtime environment are discussed. The workshop will address the feeding and mealtime issues of children who eat and drink by mouth as well as those who receive their nutrition through a feeding tube.

The workshop will be of special interest to speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, dietitians, special educators, parents, and others working with infants and children who experience feeding and mealtime difficulties. The workshop will address the feeding and mealtime issues of children who eat and drink by mouth as well as those who receive their nutrition through a feeding tube.

This workshop may be taught in either a 2-day or 3-day format.



Please contact the sponsoring organization for a brochure and registration information for workshops in 2018.

Santiago, ChileMay 5-6, 2018

Neurofuncional Chile  


Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., is a speech-language pathologist in private practice near Charlottesville, Virginia. She is nationally and internationally known for her work in identifying and treating young children with feeding and pre-speech disorders. Dr. Morris maintains a practice which includes direct clinical work, continuing education workshops, development of clinical materials and clinical research. She is the director of New Visions, which sponsors innovative workshops for the teaching of feeding-related skills, and provides family-oriented clinical services. Dr. Morris has studied Neurodevelopmental Treatment approaches extensively in England, Switzerland, and the United States. She is the author of the Pre-Speech Assessment Scale, a rating scale for the measurement of pre-speech behaviors in children from birth through two years, and coauthor of Pre-Feeding Skills: A Comprehensive Resource for Mealtime Development (2nd edition), the Mealtime Participation Guide and the Homemade Blended Formula Handbook.


This workshop will enable the participant to

  • describe the functions of a mealtime

  • identify the role played by the following components of mealtime skills: beliefs and attitudes, the mealtime partnerships, communication, gastrointestinal comfort, sensory processing, motor coordination, and oral feeding abilities

  • identify the key issues that influence a child’s ability to eat and drink happily and efficiently

  • develop a trust-based treatment program that nourishes the child's ability to develop and enhance feeding skills

  • implement strategies that support mealtime comfort and skill development

  • help children develop greater trust and confidence in their relationship to food and new foods in the diet.

  • create a positive mealtime for children who eat through a feeding tube







Nature of mealtimes for children and families

A division of responsibility and the mealtime partnership

Challenges created by feeding difficulties

Children who resist eating

Areas contributing to comfortable and efficient eating and mealtimes

Oral feeding mealtimes and tube feeding mealtimes

Beliefs about food and mealtimes

"Control Model" vs. "Trust Model" of feeding

Mealtime communication


Morning Break


The Role of Comfort and Discomfort in Developing Inner-Directed Mealtimes

Inner directed mealtimes

Gastrointestinal system

Sensory system

Swallowing system

Stress and the desire to eat

Progressions in taking care of the self




The Role of Comfort and Discomfort (Continued)


Afternoon Break


End of Session




Enhancing Feeding and Mealtime Skills

Reducing stress and creating a nourshing mealtime environment 

Increasing gastrointestinal comfort 

Preparing the sensory system for mealtimes

Providing an interplay between postural stability and mobility


Morning Break

12:30 Lunch


Enhancing Feeding and Mealtime Skills

Advancing swallowing and oral-motor skills

Expanding dietary choices

Mapping a successful program


Afternoon Break

4:30 End of Workshop


DAY 3 [Optional in some workshop presentations]


Sharpening Our Observations:  Implementing the Transition from Theory to Therapy




Assessment and Treatment of a Child with Motor-Based Feeding and Mealtime Challenges


Discussion and Questions




Assessment and Treatment of a Child with Sensory-Based Feeding and Mealtime Challenges




Questions and Discussion


End of Session

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