Habilitation aims to support infants and children to attain or keep skills. In swallowing, habilitative therapy often functions to support the development of oral sensorimotor skills that have yet be mastered. In some cases, strategies are used for eliciting the skills that emerge in the typical oral sensorimotor skill sequence. For instance, therapeutic strategies for infants, such as oral stimulation with tastes, or time and volume limited oral feeding, may provide beneficial opportunities for purposeful swallowing. 

Habilitation may include supporting the development of feeding and swallowing beginning with foundational skills and practicing within the infant or child’s zone of proximal development (Graham, 2022).

Behavioural interventions focus on increasing applicable and relevant actions or behaviours and reducing maladaptive behaviours related to eating and swallowing (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2022). 

  • PEAS does not endorse any products, procedures, or programs, and therefore does not have an official position on the use of any compensatory, rehabilitative, or habilitative management strategy cited within this Clinical Practice Guide.
  • PEAS endorses that health professionals who engage in any compensatory, rehabilitative, or habilitative management strategy ensure that it is within the scope of their professional practice and competence, considering their certification status, education, training, and experience (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2022).