Overcoming the Challenges of Feeding for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Community-Based Assessment and Treatment

Mark Palmieri

CCSN: The Center for Children with Special Needs and Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine

Dr. Mark Palmieri is a licensed psychologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and the Assistant Director of the Center for Children with Special needs. He provides psychological evaluations, co-directs the Feeding Clinic and the Behavioral Sleep Clinic, and oversees school consultation services to lead capacity development initiatives which establish sustainable educational programs for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other complex neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at the Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine. Along with Ms. Kristen Powers, Dr. Palmieri is the co-author of the book, Feeding Your Child with Autism: A Family-Centered Guide to Meeting the Challenges. He has lectured both nationally and internationally on topics such as behavioral assessment and treatment planning, consultation and program development, and the treatment of feeding and other complex behavioral disorders. Dr. Palmieri received his doctoral degree from the Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology at Rutgers University.

Kristen Powers

CCSN: The Center for Children with Special Needs

Kristen M. Powers, M.S., OTR/L, is an Occupational Therapist and Director of Rehabilitative Services at CCSN. She is a graduate of Tufts University and San Jose State University and has been practicing as an occupational therapist for almost twenty years.Ms. Powers is certified in sensory integration and administration of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests. She has lectured on sensory-motor issues, feeding, and children with Autism Spectrum Disorders both in the United States and internationally. Ms. Powers is the Coordinator of Rehabilitative Services at CCSN and conducts evaluations, school-based consultations and therapeutic interventions. She is also co-director of the feeding clinic to address oral-motor deficits and food selectivity in children with autism and other developmental disabilities. With Dr. Mark Palmieri, Ms. Powers is the co-author of “Feeding Your Child with Autism, A Family Centered-Guide to Meeting the Challenges.”

Shaunessy Egan

CCSN: The Center for Children with Special Needs and American International College

Shaunessy Egan is a Program Coordinator at CCSN. Shaunessy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and certified Special Education teacher. While working towards her Master’s degree through Simmons College in Behavioral Education, Shaunessy worked as a classroom teacher for preschool and elementary students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Upon completion of her graduate studies, she utilized the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, with an emphasis on using B.F. Skinner’s behavioral classification of language, while working in a New York based clinic serving children with ASD and related disorders. Shaunessy has experience providing direct instruction to learners with various needs, creating individualized curriculum adaptations, developing comprehensive educational plans, and consulting to school systems and families. She is a professional member of Applied Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) and the Berkshire Association of Behavior Analysis and Therapy (BABAT).


Feeding issues affect many individuals with autism and can quickly lead to substantial food restrictions, maladaptive rituals, and related behavioral challenges, such as tantrums and aggression. These restrictions create... [ view full abstract ]

Ethics and permissions statement and / or disclosure of potential conflict of interest (if relevant)

The work to be presented is based on development and validation of a model of service and therefore did not include the manipulation of any experimental variables with participants. Only evidenced-based procedures published in... [ view full abstract ]


  1. Mark Palmieri (CCSN: The Center for Children with Special Needs and Yale Child Study Center, Yale University School of Medicine)
  2. Kristen Powers (CCSN: The Center for Children with Special Needs)
  3. Shaunessy Egan (CCSN: The Center for Children with Special Needs and American International College)

Topic Area

Topics: Practice


S7 » Symposia: Management of challenging behaviour; eating/feeding disorders (16:30 - Friday, 16th September, Tinto Room)