Adjunct faculty members in the department of occupational therapy were featured recently in the article, “What Sensory Therapists Can Teach Us About Feeding Picky Kids,’’ which was published by U.S. News & World Report in October.
Kristina Carraccia, M.S., C.C.C.-S.L.P., a licensed speech-language pathologist, and Jessica Piatak, O.T.D., O.T.R./L., a pediatric occupational therapist, also are employed together at The Center for Discovery, based in New York, New York, where they specialize in working with children who have severe developmental delays, autism spectrum disorders and more. In order to transition children with severe sensory and behavioral disorders from unhealthy diets to nutritious ones, the clinicians developed the approach know as, “FED” or “Food Exploration and Discovery Feeding Program.”
At Misericordia University, Carraccia and Piatak team teach the post-professional, interdisciplinary three-credit course “HP 615 Evaluation and Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Issues.’’ The blended course provides an extensive overview of evaluation and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders, focusing on oral motor dysfunction, tube-feeding, sensory issues, positioning and handling and behavioral management related to feeding and eating.
Carraccia specializes in working with children with autism spectrum disorders, severe developmental disabilities and feeding difficulties. She earned her Master of Science degree from State University of New York, New Paltz, New York.
Piatak specializes in working with individuals with autism and feeding disorders in a variety of settings, including school, home and residential and outpatient settings. She earned her Master of Science from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, and her doctorate from Misericordia University.