Course curriculum

  • Course Description

    In this course, participants will learn activities that can be used in therapy for work with the tactile, proprioceptive and vestibular systems. Further, they will gain an understanding of sensory preparation strategies for getting a child into a regulated state. Participants will also learn strategies for using food for regulation and ideas for food interaction through exploratory play. Finally, they will acquire knowledge of a food continuum and food chaining to apply in their practice. (.3 CEUs)


Individuals who take this course will be able to:

  • Name and describe activities that can be suggested for the tactile, proprioceptive, and vestibular systems

  • List and describe sensory preparation strategies for getting a child to a regulated state and how they would apply it in their own practice

  • Describe how different types of foods can be used for regulation

  • Describe activities to encourage food interaction through exploratory play

  • Describe a food continuum and food chaining


  • Kristen Burke


    Kristen Burke

    Kristen Burke is an occupational therapist, who has worked in the field of early intervention for the past 17 years. She is the team lead for the occupational therapy and nutrition team at TEIS. In her leadership role, she enjoys supporting the professional development of other therapists. She also works as part of the training module development team at TEIS. She is passionate about collaborating with families to combine her knowledge and experience with their ideas in order to maximize their child's potential. In addition to her work in early intervention, she has worked as a community organizer to support families and community organizations to include children of all abilities.
  • Janet Watkiss


    Janet Watkiss

    Janet Watkiss is a full time pediatric occupational therapist in the Greater Pittsburgh PA area. She practices full time in Early Intervention/ Birth to three years old for the past 17 years. Janet has leadership roles in Reflective Supervision, Onboard training, and EI Coaching Coordinator. Supports colleagues through mentoring and consultation. Her prior work experience includes pediatric outpatient and inpatient OT services related to functional feeding disorders, sensory processing dysfunction, and complex medical and developmental delays within a team approach, and served as a OT consultant addressing specialized feeding concerns of post NICU infants and post multi-organ transplant patients at The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center’s Pediatric Speciality Hospital . Janet has extensive training and education in therapeutic feeding strategies, sensory processing disorders, and specialty certification in Infant Mental Health. She is a graduate of Chatham University with a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy ‘99 and has served as adjunct facility in Chatham University’s Occupational Therapy Program since 2015 to present. She is a member of AOTA, NBCOT, Zero to Three Organization, and charter member of PA Association of Infant Health. She resides in Western Pennsylvania. Her roles as spouse, parent, and grandparent are central. She enjoys traveling with her husband to visit family and new destinations.