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Evaluation of Children Who Have Food Selectivity

presented by Michelle Suarez

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The development of an effective treatment plan for a child with food selectivity begins with a thorough evaluation of the child in the context of their family unit. Information gathered as part of a comprehensive feeding evaluation includes the child’s medical history, sensory processing patterns, oral motor skills, and mealtime behavior. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the feeding evaluation to facilitate the development of an effective treatment plan for increased food acceptance and promotion of positive and healthy mealtime interactions. This is part two in a series of four on Food Selectivity.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTR/L

    Michelle Suarez is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy department at Western Michigan University (WMU). She received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) from Eastern Michigan University and her PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Science from Western Michigan University. In her role as professor, she teaches the pediatric content to Master level OT students, co-coordinates the clinic where students complete their level I placements, is a member of an autism diagnostic evaluation team, and conducts research in pediatric practice. Michelle has published peer reviewed research in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, International Journal of School Health, Autism and Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. In addition, she has written several book chapters for the Conditions in Occupational Performance text book. Michelle’s research areas include Food Selectivity, Sensory Processing Disorders, measuring physiological responses to everyday occupation, and the impact of abuse, neglect and prenatal substance abuse on children and relationships. She regularly presents at professional conferences and for community organizations. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Feeding History Evaluation

    1. Feeding History Evaluation

    This chapter will cover the information that must be gathered to create a holistic perspective of the child’s eating skills and mealtime behavior. Information related to health and development, texture transition, child and family strengths, and family priorities all form the foundation for food selectivity treatment goals.

  2. Physical and Medical Considerations in Food Selectivity Evaluation

    2. Physical and Medical Considerations in Food Selectivity Evaluation

    A comprehensive feeding evaluation includes gathering information related to physiological considerations, observation of a typical meal, sensory processing patterns, and oral motor skills. This chapter will provide specific instruction on how to capture this information objectively in order to identify a baseline level of performance that can be used to track change with treatment.

  3. Development of Food Selectivity Treatment Goals

    3. Development of Food Selectivity Treatment Goals

    The development of objective and meaningful goals is essential for guiding the treatment process. This chapter outlines three types of treatment goals that form the basis of most food selectivity treatment plans. In addition, case studies for three children are presented and these children will be followed in subsequent lectures related to treatment.