Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Invited Paper Session #241
CE Offered: BACB

Mitigating the Risks Associated with Treatment of Pediatric Feeding Disorders

Sunday, May 25, 2014
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
W183a (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: DDA; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Anjali Barretto, Ph.D.
Chair: Anjali Barretto (Gonzaga University)
CATHLEEN C. PIAZZA (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
Dr. Cathleen Piazza received her doctorate degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. She completed her predoctoral internship and a postdoctoral fellowship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD. After her training, Dr. Piazza continued as a faculty member at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she served as the director of the Severe Behavior Unit, the chief psychologist of the Neurobehavioral Unit, and the director of the Pediatric Behavioral Sleep Clinic. In 1996, Dr. Piazza became the director of training for the Department of Behavioral Psychology. In 1997, she became the director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program. In 1999, the Kennedy Krieger and Marcus Institutes became affiliates, and Dr. Piazza moved to Atlanta, GA, to initiate the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program at the Marcus Institute. She also served as the director of training for the Marcus Institute. Dr. Piazza is a former editor, former book editor, former associate editor, and former board member of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. In 2002, the Chron's and Colitis Association named Dr. Piazza a Woman of Distinction. She also was identified as the most productive female researcher and one of the top five researchers in the world in the areas of behavior analysis and behavior therapy in the 1990s. Dr. Piazza has served as a mentor to more than 50 predoctoral interns and postdoctoral fellows who trained at the Kennedy Krieger, Marcus, and Munroe-Meyer Institutes. Dr. Piazza currently is the director of the Pediatric Feeding Disorders Program and a professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center's Munroe-Meyer Institute and Department of Pediatrics. Dr. Piazza has published more than 75 peer-reviewed studies on the assessment and treatment of severe behavior and feeding disorders.

Treatments for pediatric feeding disorders based on applied behavior analysis have the most empirical support in the literature, even though the results of several studies have shown that the etiology of pediatric feeding disorders is often complex and multifactorial. Factors that contribute to the etiology of a feeding disorder include medical problems, oral-motor dysfunction, and nutritional and/or caloric deficits. Therefore, it is critical that the behavior analyst seek input from physicians, speech and/or occupational therapists, and dietitians before initiating treatment of a child with a feeding disorder. The first purpose of this presentation is to familiarize the audience with the potential risks associated with treatment of a pediatric feeding disorder. A second purpose is to teach the audience ways to mitigate these risks. A third purpose is to teach the audience why interaction with professionals from other disciplines is important for safe and effective treatment of a child with a feeding disorder.




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