Katheryn Peterson, Ph.D., BCBA

Recent Advancements in the Treatment of Feeding Difficulties in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Kathryn Peterson, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Friday, October 14, 2016, 9:00am – 12:00pm

Many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have feeding difficulties, namely food selectivity (i.e., consumption of a limited variety of foods by type or texture). Food selectivity inevitably leads to inadequate dietary intake, which is associated with learning and behavior problems. If left untreated, children with food selectivity also may suffer from weight loss, malnutrition, or other health problems (e.g., constipation, Type II diabetes). Currently, treatments for pediatric feeding disorders based on ABA research have the most empirical support (Volkert & Piazza, 2012). However, there are not as many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ABA in the treatment of food selectivity in children with ASD. In addition, there are a limited number of clinics and professionals in the country that specialize in the behavioral treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. In the current workshop, I will review general information on feeding disorders and challenging behavior at mealtimes, current standards of practice, and new research on effective treatments for food selectivity in children with ASD.

Biography

Dr. Kathryn Peterson earned her Master’s degree in applied behavior analysis from the Pennsylvania State University in 2008. She spent several years working as a behavior consultant specializing in the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior in children with ASD. During that time, Dr. Peterson also served as the editorial assistant for Behavioral Interventions. Dr. Peterson earned her doctoral degree in applied behavior analysis from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). She now works as an assistant professor and doctoral-level board certified behavior analyst at UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute. Dr. Peterson serves as a case manager within the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at UNMC, where she conducts research on the assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders. She has published in and reviewed for numerous journals, including the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She has secured grant awards through UNMC’s Pediatrics, Diversity, and the Munroe-Meyer Institute’s guild funds to conduct research on effective treatments for food selectivity in children with ASD. Dr. Peterson has fulfilled numerous positions on the board for the Heartland Association for Behavior Analysis (HLABA), including Vice President and President.

Workshop Materials