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Presented by: Teresa May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA
originally recorded October 17, 2016

Webinars are video presentations and include the recorded PowerPoint and lecture and a .pdf copy of the PowerPoint notes.

Description: The FOCUS Program is a systematic and comprehensive sensory-based approach to improving feeding skills and mealtime participation in children with problems processing and integrating sensations.  This program incorporates core concepts from sensory integration theory; neuromuscular approaches to treating oral motor skills; developmental models of feeding skills; and social-based programs for improving mealtime behaviors into a 5 stage model for assessment and intervention.  Evaluation is comprehensive and encompasses sensory processing, praxis, postural and functional feeding and mealtime behaviors. Intervention progresses the client through self-regulation, sensory processing, motor performance, to oral motor structure control and increased tolerance of food choices. This webinar, Part 1 of a 2-part series, will focus on assessment strategies for sensory, oral motor and feeding-related concerns which interfere with mealtime participation.  Part 2 of the series will address the unique FOCUS intervention approach.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this webinar viewers will be able to:

  1. Identify 3 components that are evaluated and treated by the FOCUS program.
  2. Identify 2 signs that a client would be appropriate to refer to the FOCUS program.
  3. Describe 3 ways that a sensory/oral motor program can address the needs of a restrictive eater.

Course Level: Intermediate. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Suitable For: Occupational therapists, OT assistants, physical therapists, PT assistants and students, speech and language therapists.

Domain: Performance Skills
Process: Intervention

Contact Hours: This course is worth 1.5 contact hours or .15 AOTA CEUs.

Completion Requirements: To receive contact hours for this course you must listen to the recorded webinar in its entirety and complete the accompanying assessment.

About the Speaker: Teresa A. May-Benson, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA is the Executive Director of the Spiral Foundation as well as a practicing occupational therapist at OTA The Koomar Center. She is active in conducting research related to sensory integration through the Spiral Foundation’s Sensory Processing Research Center and Laboratory. She is a well-known lecturer and researcher on sensory integration theory and intervention, has authored book chapters and articles on praxis and sensory integration, and completed her doctoral dissertation on ideational praxis. Dr. May-Benson received her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University and her master’s degree from Boston University with a concentration in sensory integration and school system therapy. She was a Maternal and Child Health Fellow in the Doctoral Program in Therapeutic Studies at Boston University. She has received the Virginia Scardinia Award of Excellence from AOTA for her work in ideational praxis.

 ADA/Section 504: If you require special accommodations, please contact the Spiral Foundation at or (617) 969 – 4410 ext. 231.

Continuing Education:


Occupational Therapy Practitioners/ Occupational Therapy Assistants:  The Spiral Foundation is an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants by the American Occupational Therapy Association.  The assignment of AOTA CEUs does not imply endorsement of specific course content, products, or clinical procedures by AOTA.


The Spiral Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and as such your donation is tax deductible.