A Relational Approach to Complex Pediatric Feeding Challenges: The Responsive Feeding Therapy Model – Tucson
October 25 @ 9:00 am - October 26 @ 4:00 pm MST
A strong understanding of typical growth, appetite, skills acquisition, feeding dynamics, attachment and temperament is key to determining when and why a child diverged from typical – which guides therapeutic practice. Gaining perspective on how inadequately supported parents may resort to counterproductive feeding practices to “get a few bites in” is a crucial piece of the therapy puzzle. Addressing counter-productive feeding practices, and the worries that drive them, provides exciting opportunities for helping children do their best with eating.
Support parents as they transition from fear and pressure to trust and responsive feeding using the STEPS+ framework to 1) Reduce anxiety/conflict (child and parent) 2) Support routine 3) Enjoy/establish family meals 4) Build skills on what to put on table 5) Support skills: oral-motor and sensory.
For clinicians working with families and young children, moving away from a directive or prescribed approach towards a responsive model improves outcomes and instills trust between the partners involved in feeding. A Responsive Feeding Therapy Model prioritizes the child’s comfort and drive for autonomy, facilitating skill development and (re)discovery of curiosity and internal cues of hunger and fullness. This grounding framework informs how we set goals, provide therapy, and interact with caregivers. We will begin with diagnostic considerations and end with specifics of direct intervention.