The Pervasive Impact of Breath on Function: What to Know and What to Do

Eileen Richter & Patricia Oetter, Live Webinar

September 29, 2020, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm CST

CEUs: 3 Contact Hours (.3 AOTA CEUs)

Course Level 
OT, PT, SLP and interested others
Course Description

Breath has not always been a focus in pediatric treatment. New information is shedding light on how respiration impacts many aspects of development. It is therefore necessary for us to take a more in-depth and active approach to breathing function in our clients with regulatory, sensory processing and/or sensory motor dysfunction.


Current study of breathing restrictions, be they structural, functional or the result of trauma or allergies, is identifying associations with regulatory disorders such as sleep apnea, sleep patterns, ADD, and ADHD; as well as motor skills such as feeding, posture and other skills. Observation of respiratory patterns leads to a better understanding of development and sensory motor outcomes. When breathing function is unrestricted air expands the rib cage 3-dimentionally. Identifying where breath is restricted (belly, diaphragm, upper chest, neck, mouth, nose) provides clues to function and is a foundational focus for treatment. Rate, depth, rhythm and gradation are required for attention, self-regulation, endurance, postural control, eating, voicing for speech, and many other development achievements.


This workshop will emphasize the process of respiratory development, from in utero on, as it relates to typical and atypical sensory processing, and sensory motor processing and development. We will discuss how this applies to assessment and treatment of pediatric clients with varied diagnoses. Using lectures, slides, videos, we will explore assessment and treatment options to address various dysfunctional respiratory patterns.

Course Objectives

Participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss the way breath impacts regulation, sleep, feeding and eating, postural control, communication and cognition.

  2. Identify the markers of respiratory dysfunction in breathing patterns.

  3. Describe treatment strategies for at least 3 to 4 dysfunctional respiratory patterns.


9:00 -9:30 am - The Role of Respiration in Development – Fetal Development to Function

9:30 - 10:30 am - Respiratory Mechanisms – Neuro-anatomical/Structural/Functional Processes

10:30 am - 11:15 am - Assessment and Treatment – Observation, Principles, Considerations

11:15 am - 12:00 pm - Treatment – Demonstration, Cases, Strategies

Course Requirements

For the live interactive sessions: Within one week of the course, the participant will be emailed a certificate of attendance following confirmation of attendance and completion of the self-evaluation.


For recorded session viewing: Following the passing score of 80% on the post-course quiz, the participant will be sent a course completion certificate.


Tel: 651-336-8911


For school OT services, visit Integrative Therapy

Minneapolis, Minnesota