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Meet at the Table: Inclusive Nutrition Care in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speakers share a framework for collaborating with people of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their caregivers/families to create sustainable health-promoting nutrition habits.

Member Price $24.00

Nonmember Price $54.00

DPG/MIG Price $0.00


This product is free for BHN members.

This webinar was presented live on April 27, 2021.

At all ages, people with Autism Spectrum Disorder are more likely to have nutrition related issues; from early feeding problems, to lifelong chronic illnesses such as obesity and cardiovascular disease. The hallmark features of ASD, challenges in communication and rigid behaviors, express in systemic and complex ways in this very heterogenous population. These traits coupled with common diagnostic characteristics of sensory processing issues and gastrointestinal problems, requires RDNs to expand their nutrition toolbox to assure success. Patricia Novak MPH, RD, CLE, LD, Sharon Lemons, MS, RD, CDCES, FAND, LD, and Jean Daniello, MS, RDN, CSOWM, LDN, CDCES, share a framework for collaborating with children, adults and their caregivers/families to create sustainable health-promoting nutrition habits.

CPEU: 1.5
CPE Level: 2
Performance Indicators: 1.1.8, 1.2.3, 1.3.1, 1.3.3

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify how characteristics of ASD can influence nutritional status.
  2. Create nutrition intervention strategies to maximize health and social competency considering language, sensory, and behavioral factors common in ASD within a person-centered model.
  3. Implement nutrition intervention strategies that utilize evidenced-based information consistent with the RDN code of ethics.


Patricia Novak, MPH, RD, CLE, LD

Patricia Novak began working with children with ASD over 30 years ago during her internship and fellowship in the LEND programs at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute. Since then her clinical practice, research, and writing have continued to focus on children with ASD and other neurodevelopmental disabilities. This has led to work on interdisciplinary feeding teams in community agencies, hospital outpatient hospital clinics, school based settings and home based early intervention. Through a Flutie Foundation grant, Patricia created a weight management program for children with ASD. Recent publications include feeding focused chapters in the "Pocket Guide to Children with Special Health Care and Nutritional Needs (AND)", and "Autism: Across the Lifespan", 4th Edition (AOTA) and contributions on FAS, ASD and Complementary Nutrition in "Krause and Mahan's Food & the Nutrition Care Process", 15th ed. She currently presents on ASD nationally and internationally, is part of an ASD feeding research project at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison and a clinical dietitian at Professional Child Development Associates (PCDA). Patricia was awarded the 2016 BHN Excellence in Practice Award in IDD.

Sharon G. Lemons, MS, RDN, CDCES, FAND, LD

Sharon G. Lemons is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who is passionate about working with nutrition issues in behavioral health. She currently is working at MHMR of Tarrant County where she is developing a nutrition program in a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC). She has worked with adults and children who have Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities for 9 years. Sharon worked for Early Childhood Intervention and Denton State Supported Living Center. Sharon has presented on autism and nutrition through Behavioral Health Nutrition webinars and with Feeding and Dysphagia Resources. And served in many roles as an officer of Behavioral Health Nutrition, Fort Worth Dietetic Association, and the Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group including Web Coordinator, Secretary/Treasurer, Nominating Committee, Chair-Elect, Chair and currently House of Delegates Representative. Sharon has been interviewed by the Journal of the American Dietetic Association for an article on Autism. She is one of the authors of the updated Standards of Practice and Standards of Professional Performance for Dietitians working with Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disorders and as an editor of the Nutrition Care Manual for the IDD section.

Jean L. Daniello, MS, RDN, CSOWM, LDN, CDCES

Jean L. Daniello is a registered dietitian/nutritionist with an interest in nutrition and advocacy for individuals with special needs and autism. She has worked as an RDN for over 30 years and for 18 of them had a private practice where she worked with families who had children with special needs. Jean has also worked with individual families as an outpatient dietitian at Carroll Hospital Center for 10 years. She has worked with children as part of an early intervention feeding program at Hospital for Sick Children and also with the Senior Citizens and with young adults including working with three group homes to teach cooking skills and provide nutrition education. Jean has been an advocate for individuals with autism and IDD for about 29 years including being appointed to the Howard County Commission on Disability Issues and remaining on the Commission for eight years including two as the Chairperson. She also is a founding member of the Howard County Autism Society. Jean currently works as Nutrition Director at RICA-Baltimore, a facility within the Maryland Department of Behavioral Health that provides residential and day services for adolescents with emotional needs, many of whom have autism.

Release Date: April 27, 2021


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