presented by Michelle Suarez
Treatment of food selectivity requires a holistic approach to address the complex nature of dysfunctional eating behavior. This course will outline the theoretical underpinnings of effective food selectivity treatment. In addition, a multi-component treatment protocol will be described, and immediate applications to clinical practice will be delineated. This is the third course in a series of four on Food Selectivity.
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.
In order to effectively treat food selectivity, an understanding of underlying theory is necessary. This understanding allows for the treatment protocol to be applied flexibly to meet individual client needs. This chapter will outline the contribution of the behavioral, sensory integration, cognitive behavioral, and biomechanical frames of reference to the treatment of food selectivity.
Treatment for food selectivity often contains several specific treatment elements. This chapter will describe a standard structure for a food selectivity treatment session with optional oral motor and tactile food exploration elements and an essential clinical meal.