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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 - Club CIAO: This course is also part of Club CIAO, our all-you-can-eat buffet of online courses for one low price. Club CIAO Members also receive 25% off of all Live Stream courses!

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)
  • 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 0.25 CEUs for this program
  • Approved for:
  • 2.5 Hours 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)


" The information in this presentation is very insightful and practical. "

- Albuquerque, NM / Aug 2023

"I really appreciate how affordable/accessible this course was. "

- Greenville, SC / Jun 2023

"This course was extremely informative and provided great information. It was presented in a manner that was easy to understand and follow. "

- Greenville , SC / Oct 2022

"I learned a lot of practical knowledge from this course."

- Hereford, TX / Oct 2022

"This was a great course. Karin and Kathy were great! I would have loved more videos. "

- Lake Forest, CA / Sep 2022

"Very informative "

- Baton Rouge, LA / Sep 2022

"I really enjoy these therapists' presentation style and they way the compliment each other. I have taken a few courses from them and I have always enjoyed them together. "

- Boise, ID / Jul 2022

"Excellent to have SLP/OTR side by side to discuss each area. "

- Knoxville, TN / Jul 2022

"Good review of the whole child and how it relates to swallow. "

- Bossier, LA / Apr 2022

"Course needs more visual aids. The videos were very helpful and more of them would help. Less sitting and talking and more visual instruction would really improve this course. "

- Sumrall, MS / Apr 2022

"This class was fabulous and I have already recommended it to two other SLP's. Thank you. "

- Rochester, NY / Mar 2022

"I would have loved to see a comparison of adult and peds difference in diagram form with key features ( memory joggers) listed. A highlights summary maybe. "

- Twin Falls, ID / Mar 2022

"Wonderful course!"

- Lubbock, TX / Jul 2021

"These women were awesome!!!!!!!! I have been a practicing SLP for over 10 years and this course had so much great information, was well organized, explained the info in a great and realistic way, put all areas of development together and explained how they connect and why it is important to know this info, and provided me with new ideas and new things to focus on!!!! I rate them 120/100!!!"

- San Antonio, TX / Apr 2021

"I love these instructors! They instructed my Pedi Vital Stim course years ago. There love and passion for this topic is very apparent."

- Palmer, AK / Feb 2021

"Courses always provide clear information. Power points are thorough."

- Austin, TX / Jan 2021

"I was still a little confused about what as suck swallow burst was. Overall a VERY great course and I learned a lot. Probably the best one I’ve taken in a long time! Definitely would recommend to other professionals. "

- Owens Cross Roads, AL / Jan 2021

"Excellent course. Thank you. "

- Johns Creek, GA / Oct 2020

"This course was great. The instructors were absolutely amazing!"

- Yorba Linda, CA / Sep 2020

"I really enjoyed the instructors. Great knowledge and provided good examples. I loved learning about the overall motor development and its importance to feeding and speech. As a physical therapist I have learned a great deal from these ladies and how positioning is important across all disciplines "

- Jefferson City, MO / May 2020

"I always enjoy the courses featuring Kathy Ramirez and Karin Mitchell because they provide me with so much information. They both do a great job of presenting the information in a manner that is not overwhelming but entertaining and conducive to learning/retention."

- Auburndale, FL / Mar 2020

"Excellent "

- Whitesburg, GA / Jan 2020

"Wonderful course. I enjoyed being able to go at my own pace and to be able to stop and rewind things. It also enjoyed that it was split into sections that were manageable."

- Cedar Rapids, IA / Dec 2019

" As always this course was very helpful and informative and will be useful for future treatment sessions . "

- Chattanooga, TN / Nov 2019

"I love Kathy and Karin! They are so good at presenting their knowledge in such a relatable way. I enjoyed watching on line, so I could pause them and take notes without missing anything. I will definitely recommend this course to my colleagues!"

- Burnsville, MN / Oct 2019

"This course provided a concise, well-organized overview about the milestones in each area of development and of the interplay between the growth in all the areas."

- San Antonio, TX / Jul 2019

"Excellent overview for even a therapist with 20 years experience! Good solid points for training students and younger clinicians. "

- Omaha, NE / Jul 2019

"excellent course, well presented"

- Fergus Falls, MN / Jul 2019

"Knowing more specific details about the anatomy of the swallow through all stages is very helpful and a good refresher of information "

- Tarpon Springs , FL / Jun 2019

"great course on overall developmental acquisition and how multiple systems should work together to support overall function"

- Askov, MN / May 2019

"Great course, great content. Really enjoyed it and found it beneficial."

- Lincoln, NE / Apr 2019

"Excellent course! Wish I had found it months ago. "

- gaithersburg, MD / Mar 2019

"Nicely organized and a great developmental review. "

- Lawton, OK / Mar 2019

"Great course!"

- Claremore, OK / Feb 2019

"Follow up course on specific intervention techniques to address discoordinated infant feeding (suck-swallow-breath) and how to manage stress during feedings, to keep the feeding experience positive"

- Pineville, LA / Jan 2019

"Videos that show respiration without clothing to better visualize the different types of breathing abdominal vs thoracic breathing. NB MBS videos? Thank you!"

- Lakewood, NJ / Dec 2018

"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