Insights from a Multidisciplinary Feeding Team that Uses RFT

Most hospital-based feeding teams are grounded in a behavioral approach: not the Eating, Feeding and Swallowing Service at Alberta Children’s Hospital. 
“Parents feel calmer, they don’t feel judged. We’ve honed a responsive approach over the last nearly decade and it is what works best. We really want to empower parents, and work from a strengths-based, trauma and attachment-informed lens - especially with our most complex and often traumatized children and families.” Melanie Loomer, Ph.D

Course Description:

Are you curious to learn how a hospital-based team applies a responsive approach? The team works with avoidant eaters (including pediatric feeding disorders and ARFID), complex medical cases, therapeutic diets and feeding tubes, as well as children with sensory differences, neurodivergence, and brain-based differences from birth to age 18.

There is often the impression that complex or medically involved cases somehow 
need more… that in these cases, adults need to get children to eat, and a behavioral approach is the default.

This is an exciting opportunity to hear from members of a hospital-based feeding team whose work is grounded in the values of RFT. You’ll find practical takeaways, whether you’re working in a multidisciplinary team setting and curious about incorporating RFT, or in private practice alongside (or referring to) other professionals.

In this presentation, Stefanie, Melanie, Cathryn, Sherene, and Caitlin 
will talk about how they:

  • work together as a team
  • structure assessments and the intake process
  • provide appropriate and responsive feeding treatment to clients
  • work with families from all over the world including refugees and diverse socioeconomic groups
  • work over Zoom
  • communicate with the medical team
  • engage in community outreach and why
  • address specific fears around nutrition or choking
  • and more…

DURATION: 1.5 hours

Eating, Feeding and Swallowing Service at Alberta Children’s Hospital

We work in a tertiary care Children’s Hospital that serves a million plus catchment area. Our team consists of Registered Dietitians, a Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist and Psychologist. We work with a very diverse population; extreme picky eaters, neurodivergent and medically complex children. Working collaboratively, efficiently and using a family centered approach our team provides service to 100’s of families a year (estimated 685 in a year). We have built relationships with other professionals within and outside of our hospital setting. 

Our population ranges in age from newborn to age 18, families are culturally diverse and socioeconomically diverse. (Please note we are in Canada where we have public health care, we will not be discussing billing.)

Stefanie Bichsel MSLP, R. SLP. (C)

Melanie Loomer, PhD, R. Psych.

Cathryn Rowley, BA, BSc, O.T. (C)

Sherene Sieben, BSc, R.D.

Caitlin Zandstra, BSc, R.D.

Learning Objectives: at the completion of this course, the participant will:

1. Describe the various roles and benefits of the multidisciplinary team in treating feeding disorders

2. Explain the components of an initial assessment using responsive feeding techniques

3. Use collaborative approach to translate responsive feeding practices from a clinical/hospital setting into the community.

CEU information:

Certificates of attendance verify 1 hour of continuing education for SLPs and OTs. Check with your professional organization’s licensing bodies to determine exactly what may be accepted for you:

This course counts towards ASHA professional development hour requirements, and does not require pre-approval. Please keep your certificate as proof of attendance as it is not submitted to ASHA’s CEU registry. Please check with your state certification board for any additional requirements for state licensure, as they all differ. ASHA professional development information

This course counts towards AOTA professional development hour requirements and does not require pre-approval.  Please check your state’s and national certifying body guidelines for specific information to determine if it may apply to your state’s licensure requirements. Please keep your certificate as proof of attendance as it is not submitted to any CEU registries.  NBCOT certificate and certification , NBCOT certification activities chart

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