Family-Centered and Trauma-Informed Practice for PFD

April 30, 2021 3:00 pm

Emotional and psychosocial trauma associated with pediatric feeding disorders is an essential considerations for healthcare professionals when serving families and children. This presentation will examine the complex and interrelated etiologies of the child’s developmental skills, the home environment, and family psychosocial functioning related to pediatric feeding disorders. The application of trauma-informed approach has the potential to assuage negative consequences and empower families through holistic care. Family-centered feeding therapy can address mealtime stress, provide emotional support, and encourage positive coping and therapeutic progress. Barriers to routine integration of trauma-informed practices will be discussed. Evidence-based strategies presented will highlight considerations for healthcare professionals when implementing trauma-informed plans of care.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe how potential trauma is associated and impacts PFD
  • Discuss signs of emotional trauma related to feeding and mealtime
  • Consider trauma-informed care strategies to support the whole family


  • Christian Hancock, M.S., CCC-SLP

    Christian Hancock is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist, specialized pediatric feeding therapist, and parent coach. She is the founder and owner of Heart & Soul Speech, serving families at home in North Texas. Her practice focuses on routine-based language intervention, responsive feeding therapy, and support for challenging behaviors. She is a member of the American Speech, Language, Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Texas Speech, Language, Hearing Association (TSHA) as well as Chair of the LifePath Systems Foundation Board. Christian is the creator of Communication with Connection, a philosophy and practice that empowers families with ways to develop language and build relationships through simple everyday moments. She receives compensation as speaker and presenter focusing on trauma-informed care and parent-child relationships. Her two children are her greatest teachers. Stay in touch with Christian at and on Instagram @heart_soul_speech.

    Financial Disclosures: Receives a salary from Heart & Soul Speech; is receiving an honorarium from Feeding Matters for CE session at the 2021 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference

    Non-financial Disclosures: Serves as a member of ASHA; Member of TSHA; and volunteer for LifePath Systems Foundation

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  • Leah Walsh, M.S. CCC-SLP

    Leah Walsh is based out of Austin, TX and is a licensed and certified speech-language pathologist, feeding therapist, and parent of two fun littles (one adventurous eater and one with PFD). She is a Clinical Manager at a managed care organization where she oversees speech therapy prior authorization. She also provides private consultations to assist families with coordinating care to identify the proper professional when the family suspects their infant or child may have tethered oral tissues, feeding/swallowing concerns, nutritional deficits, and/or speech/language concerns. Stay in touch with her at

    Financial Disclosure: Receives a salary Superior Healthplan and Leah Walsh Consulting; is receiving an honorarium from Feeding Matters for CE session at the 2021 International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference.

    Non-Financial Disclosure: Serves as a member of ASHA; has two children with a PFD.

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