The DIR Approach to Pediatric Feeding
DIR Feeding

September 27-28, 2019

City of Greenwood Village Community Room
6060 S. Quebec Street
Greenwood Village, Colorado 80111

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Early-Bird Pricing Ends August 15th

Presented by Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA)

Eating is a highly complex process, with great emotional significance for the child, parent(s) and caregivers. This course will illustrate how DIR® (Developmental Individual differences & Relationships) principles are used within feeding intervention for infants and children (6 months-12 yrs.), with a wide range of feeding challenges. Through the use of case examples, we will describe the importance of collaboration with families, as well as how to create individualized treatment plans. This coordinated effort has the goal of supporting the child to feel safe and self-motivated in the eating experience as it unfolds within the culture of the family. Building on a sense of trust within therapeutic relationships, children and parents can develop skills that meet their feeding goals around meals. Along the way, they develop a sense of mutual engagement within their relationships finding satisfaction during feeding and around meal times.

Using the DIR® approach we challenge the child to use all their developmental capacities in the feeding experience. The importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, including nutrition, medicine, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and mental health will be illustrated. Participants will gain a better understanding of relationship-based intervention and a set of therapeutic “tools” to guide their practice in the home, clinic and school based setting. Video case studies will be used to illustrate practical solutions to complex feeding disorders. All Attendees will receive a certificate of attendance verifying training hours at the completion of the training.

This intermediate level course is designed for Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Dietitians, Early Interventionists, Psychologists, MFTs, Social Workers, Physical Therapists, Nurses, Educators and any other professionals working with children and families with feeding and mealtime challenges.

Download a copy of the full course agenda here


Diane Cullinane, MD, is board certified in Pediatrics, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and is Executive Director of PCDA. She has over 30 years’ experience specializing in the assessment and treatment of children with developmental delays and disabilities. Dr. Cullinane is Chair of the DIR®/Floortime™ Coalition of California, certified DIR® clinician, ICDL Faculty member, and nationally known leader and speaker in the area of special needs and child development.

Anne Davis, MS, CCC-SLP, is the head of Speech and Language Services at PCDA. She has over 20 years’ experience working with children and adults with communication challenges in a variety of settings. She works collaboratively with parents and other professionals to encourage communication throughout the child’s daily life. She is a Hanen certified instructor of parents and has a special interest and expertise in Augmentative Communication, dysphagia, and medically complex children.

Julie Miller, MOT, OTR/L, SWC, is the director of the PCDA Occupational Therapy department and coordinator of the interdisciplinary feeding team. Julie specializes in treating children who have feeding challenges with a special interest in medical fragility, autism, sensory integration and social emotional development. She is a nationally known speaker, consultant and published author in several publications and journals.

Jonae Perez, MPH, RD is a member of the PCDA interdisciplinary feeding and nutrition team. She completed her undergraduate education at California State University, Long Beach and Master of Public Health and nutrition training at the University of Washington. Her clinical and public health nutrition experiences include work in pediatric and adult trauma and burn hospital units, school wellness, WIC, and the Department of Public Health.



Early-Bird Discounted Tuition       $345
Through August 15

Regular Tuition                                  $395
After August 15

Group discounts available! View the registration page for details.

Who Should Attend

Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Dietitians, Early Interventionists, Psychologists, MFTs, Social Workers, Physical Therapists, Nurses, Educators and any other professionals working with children and families with feeding and mealtime challenges.


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this program, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the components of the DIR® approach to feeding issues.
  • Describe the role of different disciplines within the DIR® approach.
  • Identify and generate assessment and treatment strategies to advance family and child engagement around feeding. Utilize treatment strategies directed at parent-child interaction around feeding to improve swallowing patters and safety.
  • Generate treatment strategies to support advancing feeding goals while considering the child’s development and individual differences.
  • State the role of diet in supporting cognitive and emotional development.
  • Plan feeding intervention that encourages health promoting diet and behaviors for children with consideration of their diagnosis and medical nutritional needs.

Download a copy of the full course agenda here

Continuing Education

This program meets the qualifications for 14 hours of continuing professional development credit for Speech Language Pathologists, Registered Dietitians, and some Registered Nurses, Occupational Therapists, and some Mental Health Professionals. This program has been approved by the California Board of Occupational Therapy for post-professional education in the advanced practice area of swallowing assessment, evaluation and intervention. (32-S4)

Visit our registration page for complete details.