Pediatric VitalStim Therapy 1: Enhancing Decision Making

This course is the first part of the Pediatric VitalStim Therapy: Enhancing Decision Making series. Both the first and second part are included in your purchase and will appear as individual courses on your Online Course Menu. Participants will be able to activate each part separately at your discretion. Separate CEU certificates will be available to print upon successful completion of each part.
See Prerequisite below

Learn the key components of an effective pediatric VitalStim treatment. This course is designed to take the VitalStim provider to the next level in their evaluation, clinical analysis, treatment planning, and intervention skills. The course will focus on building upon the theoretical basis of muscle physiology, kinesiology, swallowing mechanism changes across infancy through adulthood, concepts of electrical stimulation, electrode placement, dynamic systems theory, and more. Through the use of labs, videos, case studies, and discussion, the participant will challenge and build their problem solving and analytical skills to efficiently and effectively identify and treat the pediatric VitalStim caseload. This course will bring about new therapy ideas and increase self confidence to provide optimal patient care and success!

Completion of this course includes a 10 question quiz and 3 short answer questions which will be submitted to the instructor for grading.

NOTE: Registrants must be VitalStim Providers.
1. VitalStim Providers who completed the Adult Focus class must first take a foundation of pediatric anatomy/physiology of the swallowing system course Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Skill Acquisition Around Developmental Milestones prior to taking this course.
2. VitalStim Providers who completed the Pediatric Focus class may proceed with this advanced class.

AOTA Classification Codes
OT Process: Intervention

Course Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

Course Instructor(s)

Karin Mitchell


Karin Mitchell is a worldwide respected Speech Language Pathologist specializing in the care and treatment of pediatric feeding and swallowing, developmental care of the medically fragile infant and child, and pediatric traumatic brain injury. Her love of teaching and helping others drives her to create and deliver fun and empowering continuing education courses across the nation and internationally. Areas covered are Developmental Care in the NICU, Cue Based Feeding, pediatric feeding and swallowing analysis and treatment, including the use of VitalStim, swallow studies, enhancing decision making and clinical analysis, breast feeding the medically fragile infant and child, and developmental milestones supporting feeding skill acquisition. Beginning her practice in 1995, Karin sought out learning opportunities and creative ways to teach others. She now serves as a lead therapist for the NICU and Feeding Teams at CHOC Children’s Hospital in Orange, CA. With a clinical practice formed by a strong theory base in NDT and SI therapies, Karin is also NOMAS trained and VitalStim certified. She provides ongoing education in-services and hands-on labs for appropriate developmental care, positioning, handling, and feeding skills for clinical staff including medical residents, nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists. Karin was a key player in the development of unit protocols and care plans for evidence-based developmental care in the highly specialized Small Baby Unit (ELBW) at CHOC which includes an ongoing education series required by all medical and support personnel. She is an active committee member for multiple qualities of care committees including Skin to Skin Care, Developmental Care, Infant Driven Feeds, Breast Feeding Coalition, Palliative Care, Neuro NICU Team, Trauma Team, and Family Centered Care. A dedicated leader, Karin devotes much of her time to the support and development of clinicians, serving as a mentor committed to building therapist's skills in clinical analysis and therapeutic effectiveness with medically fragile patients. She is a strong advocate for her patients and their families and speaks at local associations, community centers, local universities, and school districts to support medically fragile infants and children.

Financial Disclosure: Karin receives an honorarium from CIAO for the presentation of this course. She also receives royalties for the purchase of her recorded course(s)
Non-financial Disclosure: Karin uses VitalStim in her clinical practice.

Course Agenda

25 Minutes
Feeding and Swallowing
25 Minutes
Neonatal Suckling vs Sucking Pattern
25 Minutes
Muscle Movement Refresher
20 Minutes
CN Accessible to NMES
25 Minutes
Airway, Positioning, Esophagus & Sensory
34 Minutes
Muscle Physiology & NMES
26 Minutes
Electrode Placement: Infant & Toddler
30 Minutes
Electrode Placement: Pre-school & Up
5 Minutes
Video Test
15 Minutes
Case Study Reading
15 Minutes
Case Study Assignment 1
15 Minutes
Case Study Assignment 2
15 Minutes
Case Study Assignment 3
4.6 Hours

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 4.5 Hours
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider #AAWA (0.45 ASHA CEUs) bubble sheet required
  • CIAO is an AOTA Approved Provider #4119 (0.45 AOTA CEUs)
  • This course meets PDU Requirements for NBCOT (4.5 PDUs)
  • As an IACET Authorized Provider, CIAO offers CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard
  • CIAO is authorized by IACET to offer 0.45 CEUs for this program
  • 4.5 Hours OTs in CA - Advanced Practice Swallowing #25-S14

The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.

0.45 ASHA CEUs
Advanced level

CIAO is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). CIAO complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, CIAO is accredited to issue the IACET CEU.

CIAO is recognized on the NBCOT Provider Registry (meets PDU requirements for NBCOT)