School Mealtimes to Enhance Participation (Chapter 47)
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SKU: OL7047

Publisher: AOTA Continuing Education

Published: 2019

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Non-Member Price: $34.95

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Winifred Schultz-Krohn, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, SWC, FAOTA

Gloria Frolek Clark, PhD, OTR/L, BCP, SCSS, FAOTA


Earn: .1 AOTA CEU (1.25 NBCOT PDU; 1 contact hour)


School occupational therapy practitioners have a critical role in mealtime skills for students with special needs. This chapter describes the role of the occupational therapy practitioner in evaluating physiological, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors that support or limit mealtime performance, specifically feeding, eating, or swallowing. Interventions provide strategies as well as food and equipment modifications, adaptive equipment, environmental adaptations for safe eating and drinking habits, and education or training for families and others (AOTA, 2017). These services focus on improving the student’s ability to participate in snacks and meals served in the school and foster independence in self-feeding skills as needed.


Learning Objectives:

1.      Identify 3 terms used for children who refuse food. List typical signs of dysphagia.

2.      List various disorders associated with feeding and eating problems in children.

3.      Describe assessment tools for children that assess oral-motor skills and behaviors related to eating and feeding.

4.      Identify best practices for ensuring proper nutrition and safety during mealtimes.

5.      Discuss interventions that may be used in occupational therapy to support students’ ability to participate safely in snacks and meals served at school.

Key Terms and Concepts:

·         Dysphagia

·         Eating

·         Feeding

·         Feeding plan

·         Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing

·         Food selectivity

·         Fussy eaters

·         Picky eaters

·         Swallowing

·         Tube feeding

·         Videofluoroscopy swallow study