SAC Conference Webcast: Factors that Influence Infant Non-Nutritive Suck Patterning (2020)

This webcast is eligible for 1 SAC CEEs (Category A).


Presented by Emily Zimmerman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Intended audience: Speech-Language Pathologists

This session pertains to: Pre-School (0-4)

Level: Intermeditate (Assumes that the participant has general familiarity with the literature and professional practice within the areas covered.)

This intermediate session will commence with a review of the neural pathways involved in non-nutritive sucking. Following this, a discussion of a typical non-nutritive suck burst patterning will be introduced while illustrating the current tools used to assess these skills. New data showing how infant non-nutritive suck changes throughout the first year of life will be reviewed. Topics such as nipple confusion will be introduced with the goal of highlighting new research findings in this hot topic area. This session will include an in-depth discussion of factors that influence infant non-nutritive suck pattering, including timing of suck assessment, pacifier properties and birth order. Research outcomes and clinical applications will be interwoven throughout the session.

Learning objectives:

1. Understand normal suck patterning

2. Describe the factors the influence infant non-nutritive suck patterning


Download the handouts:

Click here to download the certificate of completion.


Presenter Biography

Emily Zimmerman, PhD, CCC-SLP

Dr. Emily Zimmerman is an assistant professor of communication sciences and disorders at Northeastern University. She directs the Speech and Neurodevelopment Lab, which examines the cross-section of sucking, feeding and speech emergence across environmental, maternal, physiological and genetic factors. Dr. Zimmerman is the principal investigator on several NIH grants examining these themes across patient populations, including those born preterm and infants born with exposure to ZIKA virus.


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