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Welcome to the autism spectrum disorder feeding education hub, ASD FEED-Ed!

Our Motto: Think Differently. Do Differently!

ASD FEED-Ed is an education platform designed for the purpose of educating children, youth, parents, caregivers and healthcare professionals about feeding in autistic children. Information will be provided through an ethno-culturally sensitive lens and will use a multidisciplinary approach to address:

  • Development of typical feeding milestones
  • Common feeding challenges for autistic children
  • Evidence-based assessment and treatment approaches


Our education platform focuses on key areas that are important to consider when trying to help a child with feeding issues:

  • Medical
  • Oral-Motor
  • Behaviour
  • Sensory/Skills
  • Environment
  • Nutrition
  • Parent-Child Interactions


Within each area, we present selected topics identified as being important by parents of autistic individuals who have feeding challenges as well as our clinical experience and research.  

We create original animated videos on varying topics, collaborating with experts within the field of medicine, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, behaviour therapy and nutrition. We also support creative collaboration with students/ residents who work in the healthcare ecosystem.

Please check back frequently as we keep this hub up-to-date with new content.

    Meet the ASD FEED-Ed Team

    Creator

    Dr. SmileDr. Sharon Smile MBBS., DM(Paeds), MSc.
    Dr. Smile is a developmental paediatrician at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital in Toronto, Canada. She has a clinical and research interest in the assessment and management of eating and feeding challenges in autism spectrum disorder. She is an Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto.  

    Dr. Smile has presented locally, nationally and internationally on topics around feeding challenges within the context of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her research evaluates the use of virtual multidisciplinary team assessments and interventions for autistic children with feeding challenges. Dr. Smile is currently conducting research to describe clinical profiles of autistic children presenting with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder using a multidisciplinary lens. 

    Empowering the child/youth/parents/caregivers with information, helps to start the conversation and build awareness about feeding and eating challenges in autism spectrum disorder, leading to earlier identification and management.

    Clinical specialists/advisors

    Rebecca PerlinRebecca Perlin M.Cl.Sc. SLP(C) reg. CASLPO
    Rebecca is a speech-language pathologist at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She currently works with clients and families as part of the Feeding and Swallowing Clinic, the Cleft Lip and Palate Craniofacial Program, the Neuromuscular Team and Spina Bifida/Spinal Cord Team. She holds a status appointment as a lecturer in the Department of Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Toronto.  Rebecca has been a co-investigator in research designed to increase understanding of best practices in the area of Feeding, Swallowing and Speech and a co-author of the online handbook: Optimizing Feeding and Swallowing in Children with Physical and Developmental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Clinicians. She has presented extensively to clinicians and families on topics relating to Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing and the importance of a team based approach to assessment and management. 

    It is critical that, as part of the team, families and caregivers learn to recognize the specific factors that are contributing to their child’s feeding challenges and develop skills to implement strategies into their child’s own routine/environment at their own pace.
     

    Christie RaffaeleChristie Raffaele, MSc(OT), OT Reg. (Ont.)
    Christie is the Occupational Therapist in the Feeding and Swallowing Clinic at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre as well as in the Infancy & Early Childhood Program at Surrey Place. Christie is a co-investigator in research focusing on feeding challenges in kids on the autism spectrum and she is one of the co-authors of the online handbook Optimizing Feeding and Swallowing in Children with Physical and Developmental Disabilities: A Practical Guide for Clinicians.  Christie has presented nationally and internationally on topics related to pediatric feeding.

    Christie believes strongly that helping parents to understand the factors that may be contributing to their child’s feeding challenges is one of the most effective strategies we can use to help improve a child’s feeding outcome. Once parents really understand why their child is having feeding challenges, they can then be better equipped to access and apply the best strategies to help their individual child.