Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2024

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Ranelle Nissen

Second Advisor

Rachel Fratzke


feeding therapy, interdisciplinary teams, sensory integration

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Considering the high prevalence of pediatric feeding disorders and the increased need for occupational therapists trained to work with children with feeding challenges, this project sought to provide a better understanding of the key components of a feeding therapy program. These components include caregiver involvement, use of an interdisciplinary team, interventions aimed at sensory integration, and the inclusion of family-centered and motivating interventions. The Sensory Integration theory was used to guide this project by providing an understanding of the various ways individuals can receive and respond to sensory information. There were three primary goals for this capstone project, including developing competence in sensory integration-based feeding interventions and assessments, determining the effectiveness of these interventions, and developing leadership and interprofessional collaboration skills. All of these goals were achieved by completing a variety of clinical experiences and training programs and developing feeding resources for the clinic and various educational materials. Data was collected to determine what changes, if any, occurred over time in the children’s levels of interactions with the foods. Data analysis revealed significant changes in children’s levels of interactions with soft cubes and soft mechanical mixed textured foods, results approaching significance for hard mechanical foods, and no significant changes for purees, meltable hard solids, or soft mechanical single texture foods. These results have many implications for the field of occupational therapy, including continuing to implement the four components described above during feeding therapy sessions and increasing the amount of research available on the effectiveness of feeding therapy.