Across a Broad Spectrum:  Understanding the Nutrition Related Patterns for Individuals with Autism   

 Presentation Date: Friday, May 7, 2021 at 12:00 p.m. CST

Presentation Description: With Autism prevalence at an all-time high, this presentation is intended to introduce this underserved population to nutrition professionals. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the co-morbidity burden experienced by those with Autism including high prevalence for a range of physical and mental disorders. Special focus will be provided on overweight/obesity amongst individuals with Autism and on the causes as they are currently understood. Disordered eating for individuals on the spectrum will be summarized, and the concept of “Diagnostic Overshadowing’ will be introduced. The presentation closes with a brief assessment of how COVID-19 is being manifested across disability populations.                       

Proposed Learning Objectives:
  1. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to provide an overview of the comorbidity burden for individuals on the Autism spectrum.
  2. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to provide an overview of the patterns of disordered eating amongst individuals on the Autism spectrum.
  3. At the end of the presentation, participants will be able to provide an overview of the high prevalence for overweight/obesity amongst individuals on the Autism spectrum and account for some of the understood causes.

CDR Performance Indicators: 
4.1.1,  3.1.2,  8.3 

JGJanice Goldschmidt, MPH, MS, RD, LDN received her Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Food Science as well as a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Maryland-College Park.  She is actively involved as both a researcher and practitioner in the nutritional status of individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities and has published and presented on this topic in numerous professional publications and conferences. Other research interests include assessment and treatment of disordered eating on the autism spectrum and development of cooking skills for this same population as a form of nutritional intervention.  In 2018, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD) published her first book entitled Teaching Authentic Cooking Skills to Adults With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Active Engagement. Based on this work, in October 2018, Janice received the “Excellence in Written Communication" Award presented by the Behavioral Health Nutrition Dietetics Practice Group (BHNDPG) at the 2018 national conference of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Janice is currently serving as the Director of Nutrition Services at Community Support Services, Inc. (Gaithersburg, MD) where she is responsible for development of programs intended to support the health and wellness of adults with autism through nutrition related programming. She has recently presented on adapting nutrition education in the age of COVID-19