Course curriculum

  • Course Description

    In this course, participants will gain an extensive background in nutritional guidelines, feeding concerns, reflux, and GERD. They will also acquire knowledge of clinical evaluations and options for a variety of medical issues including: GERD, aspiration and reflux. Additionally, participants will explore food allergies and intolerances, oral motor development in preemies and strategies for feeding challenges. Finally, they will view a panel of experienced feeding therapists and gain strategies for a variety of feeding challenges that they can apply in their therapy practice. (.2 CEUs)


Individuals who take this course will be able to:

  • Describe nutritional guidelines for infants and toddlers and integrate this knowledge into their practice

  • Identify clinical signs and describe treatment for at least one common feeding concern

  • Identify clinical signs and symptoms of reflux

  • Explain treatments for gastrointestinal reflux disorder (GERD)

  • Describe characteristics of a preemie and their oral motor development

  • Identify the signs and symptoms of aspiration

  • Describe the purpose of clinical evaluations and optional approaches for feeding concerns that are linked to other medical issues such as aspiration, reflux and GERD

  • Identify treatment techniques for aspiration and determine how they would use them in their practice

  • Describe the strengths and weaknesses of modified barium swallow (MBS)

  • Describe and apply strategies to feeding challenges commonly used by experienced feeding therapists


  • 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.