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SOS Training Conference and Educational Programs

FAQ's

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SOS Training Conference and Educational Programs

How much does it cost to attend the SOS Approach to Feeding conference?

SOS Approach to Feeding training conferences are typically given at the invitation of an independent Host.   Toomey & Associates, Inc. as a business entity hosts only 2-3 conferences a year.  The price of each training conference is determined by the Host and varies based on location.  For details on specific conference pricing, please visit the conference Hosts’ website.  Find contact information and website links located on our SOS Event page.

Do you offer continuing education credits?

Continuing education credits are managed and applied for by each individual Host. Please check with the Conference Host to see if they offer the credits or documentation for applying for continuing education credits with the individual associations.

I have not received continuing education credits for the conference I attended. Who do I need to contact?

Please contact the Host of the conference you attended for information on how to receive your continuing education credits. If you are unable to reach the Host or need their contact information, please send your request using the Contact Us form.

Do you offer the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference online?

Based on the type of course work and in order to ensure the best learning experience and outcome, the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference is only available as an onsite program and is not offered as an online course. However, once you have completed the SOS Approach to Feeding Course, the other SOS Education opportunities are available online. Learn more about all of our Professional Educational Programs.

What is the difference between the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference and the Advanced Workshops?

The SOS Approach to Feeding Conference provides the foundation for professionals to accurately use the SOS Approach to Feeding program.  SOS is a transdisciplinary program for assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties and weight/growth problems of all ages, with a special focus on children from 6 months to 6 years old.  It integrates posture, sensory, motor, behavioral/learning, oral motor, medical and nutritional factors to comprehensively evaluate and manage children with feeding/growth problems.  Because the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference covers material across a wide variety of disciplines, it is necessary for all professionals wishing to use the SOS Approach to Feeding program to attend this foundational training conference regardless of that professional’s discipline or previous level of clinical experience/training in feeding problems. The learning outcomes for the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference are:

The Advanced Workshops are additional 2 to 4-hour training opportunities which expand upon the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference to further educate the professional about:

  1. Unique issues and helpful strategies concerning special populations of children with feeding problems (e.g. children with ASD, Food Sensitivities/Allergies/Intolerances, children with G-tubes, working with the older child using Food Science, children with Severe Developmental Delays, working with the 6-16 month old child)
  2. How to refine their clinical skills using the SOS Approach to Feeding program through more in-depth exploration and practice of the critical components of SOS (e.g. effectively using the Oral-Motor Steps to Eating, Food Hierarchies for increasing a child’s oral volumes, working in a partnership with challenging families)

**You must first attend the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference prior to being able to access any of the online Advanced Workshops.

What other training do you provide other than the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference?

The SOS Approach to Feeding team provides both a Mentorship Course and a Certification level Course, in addition to our Advanced Workshops to clinicians who have taken the 4 day Course.

1.  On-Line Web Professional Membership: 

The purpose of offering memberships online is to give people access to more resources about SOS and feeding challenges to help you in your clinical practice.  If you join as a Member, you will have access to over 200 articles, handouts, blogs about a wide variety of subjects related to feeding & SOS from recipes that we like, kitchen products that we find helpful, reviews of WHY each of the general treatment strategies are important and tips for how to get families to do them, answers to common questions professionals ask us, problem-solving strategies for implementing SOS in your clinical setting, etc.  A Professional Membership will also keep you up-to-date with changes in the program and/or upcoming events.  Depending on your level of Membership, you will receive new written materials at least once a month up to once a week.  This Educational Offering is ongoing and primarily involves you reading what you are sent and what you find on the website.

2.  Advanced Workshops:

The 12 Advanced Workshops are 1.5 – 4 hour long videotaped classes about very specific populations of children with unique feeding problems that we do not have time in the main Training Conference to cover in-depth (e.g. Children with Autism; Transitioning Children off G-tubes), and/or about specific topics that we believe will help you to refine your clinical skills in using the SOS program with your patients/clients (e.g. Helping Children Achieve and Maintain the Just Right Arousal Space for Learning; Setting up a Feeding Clinic).  These Advanced Workshops were updated and filmed in July 2019 in front of a live audience.  As a trained SOS provider, you can watch any of these Workshops that you would like to purchase, in your own home, at your own convenience.  Each Workshop price is based on the length of time of the Workshop. If you are a Professional SOS Web Member, you will get a discount on the registration fee for each of the Workshops.  If you would like to obtain professional Continuing Education Credits, those are available for OT’s and Speech Pathologists after taking a short exam at the end of the Workshop.   For each Advanced Workshop taken, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance regardless of whether you are getting CE credits or not.

3.  Mentorship:

The Mentorship Course is specifically designed for professionals who are actively treating patients/clients using the SOS Approach to Feeding therapy program.  In order to participate in the Course, you need to be allowed within your discipline to conduct therapy with a child as you will need to submit a videotaped case study of one of your treatment sessions.  The purpose of the Mentorship Course is for clinicians to get guidance from SOS Professors regarding how to effectively implement and accurately use the SOS program in their unique clinical settings that often times do not have the most “ideal” set up for feeding therapy. The Mentorship Course is 12 weeks long and meets LIVE in an on-line classroom for 1.25 – 1.5 hours each week.  Typically, there is/are 1-2 SOS Professors and 6-12 other therapists in each Mentorship Course.  Mentorship Courses are offered 3 times a year.  The first part of the Course involves some lectures, but primarily discussions amongst the participants.  There are homework assignments connected to each lecture to help deepen the Therapists’ knowledge base and clinical application of the materials covered.  The second part of the course is watching the videotaped sessions of the participants and participating in feedback with the treating therapist.

4.  Certification:

The Certification Course is designed to thoroughly assess a Therapist’s clinical skills and knowledge in the use of the SOS Approach to  Feeding program.  We are aware that many feeding therapists use a combination of feeding programs when they treat their clients/patients.  A Therapist wishing to become SOS Certified is verified by SOS Professors to be only using SOS in their feeding therapy sessions and to be correctly using the program at an advanced clinical level.  This Course is also on-line, in a LIVE interactive classroom, for 12 weekly 1.5 hour-long classes.  Participants have homework which includes submitting treatment plans for sessions with specific clients they are seeing, and clinical justifications of foods in Food Hierarchies and/or play strategies being chosen for treatment of X problem.  Participants will videotape one client’s session at the start of the Certification Course, receive feedback from SOS Professors and other participants on that session, implement those recommendations given, and then do a second video of a later session with this child to show the progress they have made as a clinician in using the SOS program.  There is a large written examination at the end of the Course.

Learn about all of our Education Programs.

Do you offer a mentorship program?

Yes, the SOS Mentorship Program provides direct guidance and feedback by an SOS Professor on how to best implement the SOS Approach to Feeding program into your Clinical Practice.  Developed for new SOS practitioners and individuals interested in additional support in the implementation of the SOS Approach to Feeding program, the SOS Mentorship Program offers:

The Mentorship course is conducted online via the Blackboard platform for 12 weeks; 1.25 to 1.5 hours per class.  Typically, there are 10-12 participants per Course that give professionals the chance to see other clinicians at work and to hear the SOS Professor’s feedback, along with the exchange of creative ideas about how to use SOS effectively across a wide variety of settings and circumstances.  Learn more

** Attendance at the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference is the only requirement to enroll in the SOS Mentorship Course.

Do you offer a certification program?

Yes, Dr. Toomey has developed a comprehensive SOS Certification Program that provides additional training for therapists who wish to become experts in the use of the SOS Approach to Feeding program. This comprehensive certification program occurs online and includes additional written materials and examinations, clinical supervision and review of your videotaped therapy sessions, feedback to further your skills in creating Food Hierarchies and in using Hierarchy Strategies, and discussion of how to become more effective in your parent education.  Learn more

Certification in SOS is also a requirement for professionals wishing to conduct research about SOS that they will be publishing and/or presenting.  For therapists wishing to conduct other levels of research using the SOS Approach to Feeding program, please send your request using the Contact Us form.

What is the process for becoming Certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding program?

Certification in SOS is meant for professionals wishing to become an Expert Clinician in the SOS Approach to Feeding program specifically.  This course is conducted online via the Blackboard platform for 1.5-2 hours per week for 12 weeks.  There are typically only 5-6 participants per Course to allow for an extensive review of clinical cases and presentation of clinical videos by the professional.  There is weekly homework designed to refine the clinician’s understanding and use of SOS principles and strategies, as well as an examination at the end of the course.  The professional must pass the exam in order to receive Certification.  Learn more

Certification in SOS is also a requirement for professionals wishing to conduct research about SOS that they will be publishing and/or presenting.  For therapists wishing to conduct other levels of research using the SOS Approach to Feeding program, please send your request using the Contact Us form.

Pre-requisites to becoming SOS Certified include:

What is the difference between the SOS Mentorship and SOS Certification Programs?

The SOS Mentorship course is meant to provide the professional who wishes to refine their clinical skills in using the SOS Approach to Feeding program the opportunity to obtain additional information directly relevant to applying SOS in their work setting and to present a clinical case to the SOS Professors for feedback.

SOS Certification is designed for clinicians wishing to become an Expert Clinician in using the SOS Approach to Feeding program.  Being an Expert SOS Clinician means that the SOS Team has verified the professional’s use of the SOS program as accurate and effective.  Expert Clinicians would be the professionals the SOS Team would first refer a child and family to in any community.  Being an Expert Clinician also allows the professional to conduct research on the SOS Approach to Feeding program.
Learn more

Which one of your conferences would be best to gain training in feeding for 0-6 months?

The 4 Day SOS Training Conference is the place for all professionals to begin when starting to use the SOS Approach to Feeding to treat children with feeding challenges.  In this main training conference, Day 1 will cover basic learning principles that apply to the child in the NICU and the young infant, as well as with any older child.  Day 1 will also cover the skills learned for feeding across the first 2 years of life from an oral motor standpoint.  On Day 2, you will review the fundamental motor and sensory skills required for learning to eat, as well as general treatment strategies for children of all ages.  Day 3 and Day 4 teach specific SOS techniques for all children, with a focus on children between 6 months and 6 years old.

After taking the SOS Approach to Feeding course, you will want to take will be the Advanced Workshop = Feeding the 6-16 Month Old Child – which is offered on-line. You may also be interested in some of the other Advanced Workshops, depending on the types of children you are working with. Finally, if you will be treating infants, it will be important to take an Infant Feeding Course specifically.  The best one out there is Dr. Erin Ross’  SOFFI 2 day course.  You can go to www.feedingfundamentals.com for more information.  If you are going to be treating a lot of children who come out of the NICU, you should also consider taking the Fragile Infant Feeding Institute 4-5 day course after SOFFI.

If I have a complicated case, can I have a professional consultation with Dr. Toomey?

Yes, Dr. Toomey does provide Professional Consultations. Please send your request for a Professional Consultation using the Contact Us form.  Be sure to include:

Dr. Toomey typically takes 2-4 weeks to respond to Professional Consultation inquiries, depending upon her travel schedule.

Once I complete the SOS Approach to Feeding conference, will I be certified?

Attending the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference provides training in how to use the SOS Approach to Feeding program. Upon completion of the conference, you will receive a Certificate of Attendance.  This allows you to immediately begin to treat and provide therapy to patients.  However, this is NOT Certification in SOS and does not allow a professional to say that they are Certified in SOS.  Certification in SOS is only acquired through the SOS Certification Program (pre-requisite for the certification program is the completion of the SOS Approach to Feeding Conference).

I lost my certificate of attendance. Can I receive a copy?

The certificates and record of attendance are managed by the Conference Host. Please contact the Host where you attended the conference to request a duplicate copy.  If you are unable to reach the Host or need their contact information, please send your request using the Contact Us form.

I am a COTA or SLPA. Can I attend an SOS Approach to Feeding Conference?

As you may be aware, COTA and SLPA professionals are required to be under the direct supervision of a licensed Occupational Therapist or Speech-Language Pathologist.

NATIONAL LICENSING STANDARDS – COTA’s and SLPA’s are not allowed to do treatment or evaluations unless they are being supervised by an OTR or a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist.

While COTAs and SLPAs can attend the course, they cannot, according to national licensing standards, practice without supervision.  Furthermore, even if they attend the SOS course, they cannot conduct assessments or treatments using the SOS program without direct supervision.  Therefore, the COTA or SLPA would be required to have an Occupational Therapist or a Speech Pathologist, who themselves are SOS trained, be present and supervising the COTA/SLPA’s feeding assessments AND their treatment sessions.

Registering for a Conference – All COTAs and SLPAs must provide verification that their direct supervisor has been trained in the SOS Approach to Feeding program by emailing a copy of their supervisor’s Certificate of Attendance from the SOS course to the conference Host.  Or, if the direct supervisor is attending the same conference with the COTA or SLPA, the direct supervisor should send an email to the Host verifying that they are attending the conference with the named COTA or SLPA.

I am a student. Can I attend an SOS Approach to Feeding conference?

Yes, students can attend under the following circumstances:

Note: As is an ethical requirement for all graduate programs, students are not allowed to practice clinical therapy without direct/live professor/clinician supervision.  Supervision is required until the student attains their full degree and licensure.

Is there a student discount?

A discount for students is up to the discretion of the Host of each conference. Please contact the Host of the conference you are considering attending to ask them regarding whether any discounts are available.

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