Feeding Difficulties and Sensory Issues

"I loved that the course was open to many different professions. I think this is really important, as awareness of sensory feeding difficulties amongst all the professionals we met when our son was born was almost non existent, and I am so glad that this course is on offer as the need to raise awareness is huge... I also liked that the material was relevant to my family and also to my work supporting other families of children with neurodevelopmental disorders. I liked that the lecturer was friendly, open and approachable."


Many of the children treated in occupational therapy for sensory integration disorders experience difficulties with feeding. Sensory issues are often overlooked, or misinterpreted as behavioral problems. This course is about clinical reasoning concerning children who are very selective in their food choices, or refuse to eat without apparent cause.

This 2 day course explores different types of feeding difficulties related to sensory issues. Basic theory is reviewed and a proposed methodology of evaluation and treatment planning are presented.

During the course we review the different causes of food refusal and food selectivity, to ensure a proper understanding of the feeding problem. Differential diagnosis is very important as it is the first step in choosing the correct treatment. We therefore spend a lot of time tweaking out psychological, sensory, motor and medical issues that may all coexist, be confounded and lead to feeding problems. A multidisciplinary approach is presented through discussion of case studies. 

This course is about understanding the underlying issues so that one can choose the treatment approach which most suits the child and refer to the professional who can best meet the needs of the child. Basic prevention, evaluation and treatment methods are presented, but an in-depth review of each treatment approach is beyond the scope of this course.

There is not a single approach or professional domain which can effectively respond to all feeding issues. The key is identifying the underlying problem or problems in order to create an individualised, often multidisciplinary, treatment plan.

This course covers children from 6 months to toddlers; children with subtle developmental issues. It also touches upon sensory considerations related to feeding in children with cerebral palsy, in very young babies, and in older children.
 Summary: This 2 classroom day course explores different types of feeding difficulties related to sensory issues.
 Audience: The course is aimed at therapists.
 Length: 2 days - Registration will open at 9.00 am for a 9.15 am start. The course will finish at 5:00 pm.
 Fee: Gold and Silver Member Fee: £380 (Instalment plan option available)
Bronze Member Fee: £506.67

A light lunch is included. Accommodation is not included.
Special dietary requests received inside 7 days of the course start date will incur a surcharge of £20.00.
 Lecturer: Isabelle Beaudry-Bellefeuille MScOT, OT(C)


Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the factors associated with feeding difficulties.
  • Learn to carry out a basic evaluation and treatment.
  • Understand the multidisciplinary approach in the treatment of feeding difficulties.

Course summary

Brief review of oro-facial anatomy.
  • Airway protection mechanisms during swallowing.
  • Neurophysiology of swallowing.
  • Motor and sensory processes involved in feeding.
  • Phases of swallowing.
Brief review of normal development of feeding skills.
  • The new born: reflexes, anatomical considerations, development of sucking.
  • From 4 to 6 months: reflexes, anatomical considerations, introduction of spoon feeding.
  • From 5 to 8 months: reflexes, anatomical considerations, first steps towards chewing.
  • From 12 months on: the development of chewing.
Evaluation process.
  • Parent interview.
  • Clinical evaluation.
  • Treatment planning.
Establishing priorities.
  • Methodology for the analysis of problem areas.
  • Specific treatment techniques.
Workshop on specific treatment techniques.
  • Dyspraxic child.
  • Highly sensitive child.
  • Clinical cases presented by the instructor.

Who should attend?

This course is aimed at Occupational Therapists. 

Speech and Language Therapists, Paediatricians and Dietitians may be interested in the multidisciplinary approach.

How to book?

Click on the link below for your preferred date/venue and complete the booking form which will open in a new window. Bookings must be made in the name of the person attending the course including their own email address. On booking, you will receive an invoice within 2 working days. Payment is required within 30 days or prior to the course start date, whichever is soonest. Please see our booking terms and conditions for more information.

Immediately after booking your course place you will receive a confirmation email from us.  If you do not receive this email please check your spam/junk email folder first and then contact us

Are there any places left?

Click the course link below to check place availability.

Can I reserve a place?

We are unable to reserve places. 

Cancellation insurance

The SI Network strongly advises that participants arrange cancellation insurance to cover unforeseen events such as illness, unfavourable weather, or cancellation of a course for which travel and accommodation costs have been incurred.

How will we contact you?

Following booking, you will receive a confirmation email and an invoice email (within 2 days).  You MUST then log into the website and check the 'My SI' > 'My Courses' page to see important course information, reading lists, resource documents, what to bring etc. This is YOUR responsibility. You will not receive pre-course information by email.

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Sensory Integration Education, Old Breedon School, 8 Reading Road, Pangbourne, RG8 7LY, UK


We are a not for profit organisation. SI Network (UK & Ireland) Ltd trading as Sensory Integration Education. Established 1994.

Company registration no: 05068304  Copyright 2018


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