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    4 Courses

Michelle Suarez

PhD, OTR/L

Michelle Suarez is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy department at Western Michigan University (WMU). She received her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) from Eastern Michigan University and her PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Science from Western Michigan University. In her role as professor, she teaches the pediatric content to Master level OT students, co-coordinates the clinic where students complete their level I placements, is a member of an autism diagnostic evaluation team, and conducts research in pediatric practice.

Michelle has published peer reviewed research in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, International Journal of School Health, Autism and Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. In addition, she has written several book chapters for the Conditions in Occupational Performance text book. Michelle's research areas include Food Selectivity, Sensory Processing Disorders, measuring physiological responses to everyday occupation, and the impact of abuse, neglect and prenatal substance abuse on children and relationships. She regularly presents at professional conferences and for community organizations. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association.

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Food Selectivity: Causes & Consequences in Children with Autism

Presented by Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTR/L

Food Selectivity: Causes & Consequences in Children with Autism

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Food selectivity is a common problem in children with developmental disabilities and particularly in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Understanding the causes and consequences of food selectivity can help feeding clinicians develop a client-centered treatment plan to address the unique needs of these children. This course will provide current knowledge regarding how and why food selectivity develops. In addition, the potential consequences of food selectivity will be outlined. This information will serve as the foundation for the development of an effective and evidenced based food selectivity treatment plan. This is part one in a series of four on Food Selectivity.

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Food Selectivity: The Pivotal Role of Parent Education

Presented by Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTR/L

Food Selectivity: The Pivotal Role of Parent Education

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Effective treatment of food selectivity requires the feeding clinician to facilitate the generalization of skills and treatment strategies into the child's natural environment. In order for this generalization to occur, caregivers must gain the knowledge and skills necessary to effect positive change in their child's eating behavior. This course will highlight the key concepts that caregivers need to understand in order to provide teachable moments for their child. In addition, a systematic approach to introducing new foods in the home environment will be outlined. This is part four in a series on Food Selectivity.

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Evaluation of Children Who Have Food Selectivity

Presented by Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTR/L

Evaluation of Children Who Have Food Selectivity

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The development of an effective treatment plan for a child with food selectivity begins with a thorough evaluation of the child in the context of their family unit. Information gathered as part of a comprehensive feeding evaluation includes the child's medical history, sensory processing patterns, oral motor skills, and mealtime behavior. This course will provide a comprehensive overview of the feeding evaluation to facilitate the development of an effective treatment plan for increased food acceptance and promotion of positive and healthy mealtime interactions. This is part two in a series of four on Food Selectivity.

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Multi-Component Treatment of Food Selectivity

Presented by Michelle Suarez, PhD, OTR/L

Multi-Component Treatment of Food Selectivity

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Treatment of food selectivity requires a holistic approach to address the complex nature of dysfunctional eating behavior. This course will outline the theoretical underpinnings of effective food selectivity treatment. In addition, a multi-component treatment protocol will be described, and immediate applications to clinical practice will be delineated. This is the third course in a series of four on Food Selectivity.

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