Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #135
CE Offered: BACB
Exploring Advanced Feeding Skills and New Areas of Research
Saturday, May 25, 2024
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 4, Franklin Hall 9-10
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Lyndsay Ann Fairchild (Kennedy Krieger Institute )
Discussant: Valerie M. Volkert (Marcus Autism Center and Emory School of Medicine)
CE Instructor: Lyndsay Ann Fairchild, Ph.D.
Abstract: A pediatric feeding disorder is often diagnosed when a child does not consume an adequate volume or variety of food to grow and gain weight, and/or meet their overall nutritional needs (Stubbs et al., 2017). The etiology of feeding disorders is complex, with many medical, psychosocial, and skill-based factors impacting oral intake (Goday et al., 2019). Given the complexity of pediatric feeding disorders, identification of effective and socially valid interventions to target the wide range of feeding-related behaviors becomes imperative. The purpose of the current symposium will be to review effective treatments for advanced feeding skills (e.g., chewing), and explore new areas of research within the realm of pediatric feeding disorders. The first presentation will review a systematic approach to assess and teach chewing skills to children with feeding disorders. The second presentation will report on findings of the effects of a systematic rapport building intervention for children with autism and feeding difficulties.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): chewing, feeding disorder, rapport building
Target Audience: Individuals interested in learning more about the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. For BCBAs, BCaBAs, RBTs, and any other practitioners.
Learning Objectives: Attendees will be able to identify successful methods for assessing and improving chewing skills. Attendees will be able to identify strategies to increase food consumption in early intervention settings Attendees will be able to identify prerequisite skills necessary to teach chewing to children with feeding difficulties

A Systematic Approach to Teach Chewing Skills in Children With Pediatric Feeding Disorders

HOLLY M NEY (Clinic 4 Kidz), Meeta R. Patel (Clinic 4 Kidz & Stanford University School of Medicine ), Ashley Andersen (Clinic 4 Kidz), Victoria Monzon (Clinic 4 Kidz), Victoria Pham (Clinic 4 Kidz)

Children with pediatric feeding disorders often display deficits in oral motor skill development related to chewing and consuming table textured foods. Chewing is a complex skill that is not explicitly taught but emerges with experience with different types and textures of foods. However, with children with pediatric feeding disorders, the necessary experience may be interrupted due to underlying medical issues, which may result in reliance on tube feedings, pureed foods, and/or liquids. Therefore, these children may not go through the same developmental stages of eating, hence leading to oral motor deficits with regards to consuming table textured foods. The purpose of this study was to develop a skills assessment tool to identify which skills to target in chewing training. Based on the results of the assessment each child’s starting point for skills training was established. A series of hierarchical training steps were developed and each child’s starting point was unique based on the results of the assessment. The skills training model focused on individual skills, such as mashing and tongue lateralization, in addition to chewing to increase consumption of table textured foods. At the conclusion of skills training, 4 children with pediatric feeding disorders were successfully consuming table textured foods.


Systematic Rapport Building for Children With Autism and Feeding Difficulties

NICOLE C DEMCHUK (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Bethany Hansen (Munroe Meyer Institute )

Feeding difficulties are pervasive for children with autism. There is a need for more research on interventions that are not intrusive and feasible for implementation in early intervention settings. The present study investigated the effects of a systematic rapport building intervention on cooperation with demands, proximity to therapist, indices of happiness, and inappropriate behavior for children with autism and feeding difficulties. We measured indicators of assent throughout the study and applied assent-based strategies during the intervention phases. Results showed that the intervention led to consumption of new foods for children with autism and feeding difficulties. This study fills a gap in the literature by targeting motivating operations and prerequisite skills for feeding intervention with a non-intrusive package. The current study also extends research conducted in early intervention settings. Results have important implications and may provide non-specialized clinicians with a method for increasing consumption of new foods for children with autism and feeding difficulties




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh