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Nutrition Services for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities: History, Challenges and Future Needs

This webinar will review historic and current standards of care for individuals with developmental disabilities. A case study will be presented and a discussion on appropriate service utilization will follow.

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 February 22, 2021.

Historically, treatment for individuals with developmental disabilities was inadequate. Many disorders were not identified until the 20th century, when The President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities (formerly The President's Committee on Mental Retardation) identified the need for research, clinical services, training, public education, and methods of care. Historic and current standards of care will be reviewed in this presentation. Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities often present with challenges related to food selectivity and feeding disorders. Registered dietitians working with individuals with special needs will become familiar with their role as part of an interdisciplinary team for this complex issue. A case study highlighting a child who did not receive adequate care and nutrition intervention will be presented and a discussion on appropriate service utilization including the Nutrition Care Process and referral out to other interdisciplinary team members will follow.

CPEU: 1.5
CPE Level: 2
Performance Indicators: 4.1, 10.1, 10.2

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss the historical identification and treatment of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).
  2. Identify current categories of IDD and nutritional risk factors present in such populations.
  3. Apply clinically appropriate nutrition focused assessment, diagnosis, and intervention strategies when working with individuals with IDD.


Carol Bradley, PhD, MA, RDN, BCBA, LD, LBA, FAND

Carol Bradley, PhD, RDN, BCBA, LD, LBA, FAND holds a MA degree in Nutrition a PhD in School and Behavioral Psychology. She is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and has served in a variety of positions in her 30 plus years of experience as a registered and licensed dietitian. Carol currently serves as a behavior analyst at the state supported living center in Lufkin, TX where she works with intellectually disabled individuals who are medically fragile. She has also held multiple board positions for the Texas Affiliate and committee positions for Weight Management and Behavioral Health DPGs. She was recognized as Texas Distinguished Dietitian for 2018.

Harriet Cloud, MS, RDN, FAND

Harriet Cloud has worked in the area of Developmental Disabilities since 1968, when the Sparks Center for Developmental and Learning Disorders became one of the University of Alabama (UAB) programs funded by the Department of Maternal and Child Health to train graduate students in the area of what was then called mental retardation. She was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences at the UAB Birmingham. During her tenure at UAB time she served as a dietetic internship preceptor and trained future nutrition professions as they completed a graduate degree. In addition, she planned and participated in many workshops educating professionals and the public in the need for medical nutrition therapy for individuals with developmental disabilities. As a member of the group of dietitians working in this area, Harriet was a charter member in forming a practice group called Dietitians in Developmental and Psychiatric Disorders, now renamed the Behavioral Health Nutrition Dietetic Practice Group. Harriet has been active in the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) at the district, state, and national level. As a AND House of Delegates member, she has advocated for the inclusion of nutrition and dietitians in programs developed for individuals with developmental disabilities across the nation. Harriet has worked alongside Senator Robert Dole in ensuring that School Food Service programs provided special meals for children with developmental disabilities. After retiring, Harriet continues in private practice as a consultant for early intervention programs, a mental health facility, and providing nutrition services for the UAB Newborn Follow-up Clinic.

Bonnie Spear, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND

Bonnie A. Spear, PhD, RDN, LD, FAND: Dr. Spear is currently Professor of Pediatrics Emerita from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has recently returned to UAB from retirement to help with the implementation of the Pediatric Nutrition Training Program. She has had over 40 years of experience working in adolescent health, wellness, childhood obesity and pediatric nutrition. She is widely published in the field of adolescent and pediatric nutrition. Dr. Spear served as the lead author on the Expert Committee Recommendations for the Treatment of Child and Adolescent Obesity. She also served as one of the co-authors for the AND 2014 Consensus Statement of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition: Indicators Recommended for the Identification and Documentation of Pediatric Malnutrition (Undernutrition) and recently served on the AND EAL group to identify screening tools for addressing pediatric malnutrition (2020 JAND publication) and a systematic review of Food Insecurity (2020 JAND publication). In conjunction with Association of State Public Health Nutritionist she serves on the steering committee for the development and implantation of the Healthy Weight CoIIN funded by MCHB which is also working to develop a potential MCHB National Performance Measure on Food Insecurity. She is Nana to 4 grandchildren who she enjoys playing with and spoiling. Since her retirement she has started playing Mah Jongg which she describes as fun and mentally challenging.

Release Date: February 22, 2021


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