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    Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Skill Acquisition around Developmental Milestones

  • Also Available in Club CIAO



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    Appropriate Disciplines

    • Occupational Therapist
    • Certified Occupational Therapy Asst
    • Speech Language Pathologist
    • Speech Language Pathology Asst

Course Description

There is a dynamic interplay of infant/child development required to master feeding and swallowing across the age continuum safely and efficiently. This specialized pediatric anatomy and physiology course uniquely ties in motor and developmental skill acquisition to feeding and swallowing skill acquisition. The progression of feeding and swallowing skills is reliant upon stability in other systems. By analyzing the characteristics and variables of these systems, the pediatric feeding therapist will be empowered to more appropriately treat the whole child and make the best gains possible for their patients. These dynamic instructors use pictures and videos to enhance learning.

This course may be taken on it's own or as a prerequisite to Pediatric VitalStim Therapy 1: Enhancing Decision Making

Course Requirements:
  • Computer with internet and working speakers/sound are required for this course.
  • Course must be completed within 30 days of activation (activate course within 6 months of purchase).
  • An online multiple-choice quiz (80% passing score) and submission of an online evaluation form are required for successful completion.
  • A certificate of completion will be available to print immediately after course is successfully completed.
  • SLPs - ASHA CEUs may be obtained by completing the online ASHA form and checking the "Report to ASHA" box.

AOTA Classification Codes
Occupational Therapy Process: Intervention

Course Objectives

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

  • Identify the differences in anatomy and physiology of the swallowing mechanism between the infant-child-adolescent and adult.
  • Describe the typical development sequence of oral motor, feeding and swallowing skills.
  • Discuss 3 ways in which oral motor, feeding and swallowing skill development relies on postural and developmental systems.
  • Identify physiological factors that could impact feeding and swallowing skills in the pediatric population
  • List of at least 3 strategies to enhance postural support to maximize patient’s ability to participate in activities and therapy

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.

17 Minutes
The Newborn
21 Minutes
Infant Swallow
14 Minutes
One to Two Months
28 Minutes
Three to Five Months
16 Minutes
Six Months
16 Minutes
Nine Months
13 Minutes
Twelve Months
11 Minutes
Eighteen Months
7 Minutes
Two Years
18 Minutes
Three to Five Years
2.7 Hours

Delivery VIA:

  • Online - This course is offered in an online on demand format.
  • Club CIAO - This online course is also available as part of our all-you-can-eat buffet of online courses – available at one low price.

Contact hours pre-approved for:

  • 2.5 hours
  • CIAO is an ASHA Approved Provider #AAWA (0.25 ASHA CEUs) bubble sheet required
  • CIAO is an AOTA Approved Provider #4119 (0.25 AOTA CEUS)
  • This course meets PDU Requirements for NBCOT (2.5 PDUs)
  • CIAO is an IACET Approved Provider
  • CIAO is authorized by IACET to offer 0.25 CEUs for this program
  • 2.5 Hrs OT/COTAs in FL (CE Broker#20-490437'')

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)

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

This course is offered for 0.25 ASHA CEUs (Introductory level, Professional area)


"This course was a great review of developmental milestones. I enjoyed the "whole child" approach. The presenters did not only focus on the narrow aspect of swallowing. "

- Richland, MS / Dec 2017

"Karin and Kathy did an excellent job engaging their listeners and explaining the material in a clear and concise manner. This class and the knowledge I gained helped me to tackle my first infant feeding evals with much more professional and confidence. Thank you!"

- ALBUQUERQUE, NM / Nov 2017

"This was a very informative course, thank you!"

- Holly Ridge, NC / Oct 2017

"Really enjoyed this course! Narration and information spoken during the powerpoint slides were very informational and helpful."

- Mount Laurel, NJ / Sep 2017