The TR-eat® Model

The Transdisciplinary Effective Assessment & Treatment (TR-eat®) Model was developed by Elizabeth Clawson, PhD and Carol Elliott, OTR/L as a descriptor for a transdisciplinary and holistic approach for treating children with complex feeding problems. The TR-eat® model blends behavioral principles with therapeutic skills to address even the most difficult feeding problems. The approach has been found to be consistently successful, easy to administer and meets the needs of both the child and family.

The TR-eat® model is based upon the following principles:

  • This is a transdisciplinary model where disciplines work together and become crossed trained in oral motor skill treatment and behavioral interventions.
  • The model is collaborative not consultative, all disciplines working together.
  • Treatment is closely integrated with medical intervention and nutrition as this is typically the underlying cause of feeding difficulties.
  • Positive reinforcement strategies are used to not only teach, but increase the rate of learning new skills.
  • This is a child guided rather than child directed approach. We look for subtle signs from the child to find the “just right challenge” to work within. There is structure; however, treatment is advanced at a rate where the child is able to develop skills and confidence.
  • The program is respectful of sensory deficits. Sensory sensitivities directly impacting the child’s ability to be successful with feeding are incorporated into the treatment plan. Systematic desensitization (slow progression with sensory challenges) is used as a part of treatment and found to be highly successful.
  • The model is easily adopted in a variety of treatment settings.
  • Treatment is systematic, structured and built on individual successes.
  •  It is easy to learn and teach caregivers.
  •  No specials tools or certification is needed.

Our Workshops

Carol and Elizabeth conduct workshops with the goal of helping therapists by sharing the TR-eat® model. The course provides multiple case scenarios, hands on demonstration, written instructions and handouts that can be put to immediate use. Positive feedback from course participants has been overwhelming.  We look forward to sharing our knowledge with you and reaching out to help more children with feeding challenges.

Treatment Using the TR-eat® Model:

For more information and patient referrals please use the following contact information.