Feeding and Swallowing in the NICU:

(*San Antonio, TX attendees please scroll down for more information)



  1. Attend as part of the LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE in Gulf Breeze, Florida - Studio audience seats are limited - so register today!
  2. Attend via LIVE STREAM from anywhere around the world. Live stream participants will login to access the event from their computer.




Feeding difficulties in the NICU are common and can be challenging for even experienced therapists. Premature infants and medically fragile/sick newborns are unique from typically developing healthy newborns. An appreciation of their fragile and immature sub systems, maturation of these subsystems around feeding and swallowing, as well as our ability to impact these systems, are required to be a successful clinician serving this population. This two day seminar will provide a strong foundation in evidence based information, theory and critical analysis of: sub system analysis, swallowing safety and function, appropriate and effective therapeutic interventions, family/caregiver engagement and discharge planning. Infant's communication skills, positioning impact on feeding and swallowing, pre-feeding skills, therapeutic feeding trials, bottle and breast feeding, family involvement, and feeding in palliative care will also be discussed. Along with interactive lectures; videos, pictures, case studies, demonstrations and activities will be used to further expand learning opportunities and empower participants as feeding therapists with this fragile population in the NICU and beyond.

What to Bring:
Course Level: Introductory

Assessment Methods: Labs, Case Study Discussions, Q&A, Self-Assessment on Evaluation
For events that are Live Streamed, the streaming participants will verify attendance through codes given throughout course and complete a multiple choice quiz (80% passing score) and evaluation at the end

AOTA Classification Codes
Domain of OT: Client Factors, Activity Demands
OT Process: Intervention

**Please note the course August 26-27, 2023 in San Antonio, TX is live only (not live stream).

Course Event Address:

Brighton Center

14207 Higgins Road

San Antonio, TX 78217





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

Day 1

07:30 - 08:00
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
08:00 - 08:30
Objectives & Clinical Expectations
08:30 - 09:00
Embryology & Maturation of Feeding and Swallowing
09:00 - 10:00
Brain & Sensory Development
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 12:00
NICU Environment: impact on the Patient, Family & Feeding Development
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 01:30
NICU Medical Terminology & Hot Topics
01:30 - 03:00
Suck Patterns & Swallowing Development
03:00 - 03:15
03:15 - 04:00
Feeding Readiness Assessment & Programs
04:00 - 04:30
Signs of Stability vs Stress
04:30 - 05:00
Questions & Answers

Day 2

07:00 - 07:30
Registration (snack/refreshments provided)
07:30 - 08:30
Key Components of a Thorough Evaluation
08:30 - 09:00
Analysis of Readiness to Oral Feed: Video Interpretation
09:00 - 10:00
Quality of Nippling Analysis: Video Interpretation
10:00 - 10:15
10:15 - 11:15
Set Up for Success: Pre-Feeding Interventions
11:15 - 12:00
NNS Interventions
12:00 - 01:00
Lunch (on your own)
01:00 - 02:00
NS Interventions
02:00 - 02:15
02:15 - 03:00
Swallowing & Feeding Interventions: Sensory Processing Disorders, Oral Aversion & Severe Swallowing
03:00 - 03:30
Successful Transition Home
03:30 - 04:00
Questions & Answers

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 14.5 hours
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider #AAWA (1.45 ASHA CEUs) bubble sheet submission required
  • ASHA CE Provider Approval and use of the Brand Block does not imply endorsement of course content, specific products, or clinical procedures.
  • CIAO is an AOTA approved provider #4119 (OT/COTA)
  • This course meets PDU requirements for NBCOT (14.5 PDUs)
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California recognizes CIAO Seminars as an Approval Agency to Approve Providers Offering Continuing Competency Courses
  • The Physical Therapy Board of California has determined that CIAO meets the standards set forth in section 1399.95 of the CA Code of Regulations
  • This activity is provided by the Texas Board of PT Examiners Accredited Prov #2502009#TX
  • The assignment of Texas PT CCUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products or clinical procedures by TPTA or TBPTE
  • This activity meets continuing competence requirements for PT/PTA license renewal in TX
  • CIAO is a PT Approved Provider #BAP202310092 for the Oklahoma Medical Board. All PT courses for the 2022-2023 reporting period are approved.
  • CIAO is a Rule Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Physical Therapy
  • CIAO is an Approved Provider for the Florida Board of Occupational Therapy
  • Pre-Approved for:
  • 14.5 Hrs. PT/PTAs in CA (CIAO23-60), IL, OK(#BAP202310092), TX (APTA TX #2502009 for 14.5 CCUs)
  • 14.5 hrs by the CA Board of OT for Advanced Practice (Swallowing): #25-S22
  • 15.0 Hrs Illinois EI (3.0 Assessment, 3.5 Atypical Development, 5.0 Intervention, 3.0 Typical Development, 0.5 Working with Families)
  • 17.0 Hrs. PT/PTAs and OT/OTAs in FL (CE Broker #20-588048)

Course meets requirements for:

  • PT/PTAs in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CO, CT, DC, DE, GA, HI, ID, IN, IA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MO, MT,
  • PT/PTAs in NE, NH, NC, ND, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VT, VA, WA, WI, WY
  • OT/COTAs in AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, LA, KS, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT,
  • OT/COTAs in NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY

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

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

    Introductory Level
    1.45 ASHA CEUs

    CIAO Automatically reports to CE Broker for Florida Occupational and Physical Therapists and Assistants. Florida SLPs can either use the ASHA CE Participant Form (Bubble Sheet) or self-submit through CE Broker.