Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Gail Bass


Eating; Feeding and Eating Disorders of Childhood; Feeding Behavior


Having a child with feeding and eating difficulties can be a very stressful event for parents, and the process of occupational therapy assessment and treatment may also be stressful and confusing for the parents. Most parents are not familiar with feeding and eating difficulties in children, and many parents do not know where to find the information that they need to learn about their child’s diagnosis. After an initial review of literature, it was found that parents of children with special needs have few resources for eating and feeding strategies and approaches for oral motor deficits. It was also found that information about assessment and intervention for working with children who have oral motor deficits is readily available for occupational therapists, but most resources are not written in terms that can be easily understood by parents and caregivers.

After an extensive literature review and with input from occupational therapists working in an out-patient pediatric therapy clinic, we decided that parents may benefit from a manual designed to assist them to prepare for and understand the initial occupational therapy evaluation process and subsequent intervention program. The methodology for the development of the manual was an in-depth review of current resources, literature, and research in the area of eating and feeding strategies for children.

This manual was designed for use by an occupational therapists and it can be given to parents prior to the first occupational therapy visit. The manual includes information on: feeding disorders, instrumental assessments, descriptions of the professionals that provide treatment for feeding disorders and their role, and a detailed description of the occupational therapist role. It also includes information for parents on how to prepare for occupational therapy assessment and intervention, and a description of their role in assessment and intervention. The manual includes definitions of terms, additional resources, forms for parents to fill out prior to the initial occupational therapy evaluation, and treatment/intervention notes pages to help parents to keep treatment information organized.