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Food and Autism: Understanding feeding difficulties and what you can do
February 28, 2017 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm$20
Is your child a picky eater? Does “picky” not even begin to describe it?
Certainly, there are more serious obstacles than avoiding “icky” foods. Kids with autism have their own unique issues with eating, whether due to motor concerns or sensory barriers. This class will help you understand the underlying factors that cause limited diets. Based on Kay Toomey’s S.O.S. Method and Cheri Fraker’s Food Chaining Approach, you will learn tips and strategies to coax your child to eat a wider variety of food.
We will explore what it means to be a picky or problem eater and how to address both issues. You will hear from an occupational therapist and a parent of a child living with autism on some of the challenges and successes of getting children with autism to eat. There will be time for your questions too. Eating should not be a chore and it can even be a fun experience for your child. We will help you expand the food your child can truly enjoy at mealtime.
Speakers: Heather Barcikowski, OTR/L, Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy, is passionate about supporting children with special needs and their families. She has worked with children for seven years as a personal care attendant, special education paraprofessional, and licensed occupational therapist in a variety of settings including hospital, clinical, applied behavior analysis (ABA), and educational settings. Much of her work with children who have been identified as problem feeders has been in an outpatient clinic or ABA setting where she provided evidenced-based, individualized feeding therapy to support children and their families. Currently, Heather works as an occupational therapist in a transitional education program, helping students prepare for their transition into independence.
Margaret Olivier is the parent of an an 19-year-old with autism. She presently work as the Education Director for the Center for Engaging Autism. In the past, she has supported kids with autism and their families through paraprofessional work at the elementary level to teaching education classes for other parents living with autism, including eating tips to use at home. Margaret has a Bachelor’s from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois.