Congratulations to Anna Wallisch, PhD, OTR/L, 2020 Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship Awardee
Congratulations to our 2020 Nedra Gilette Endowed Research Fellowship Awardee, Anna Wallisch, PhD, OTR/L, University of Kansas and Juniper Gardens Children's Project.
“This study will provide preliminary data on potential biomarkers that may be used to assess intervention effectiveness and parent-child interactions during mealtime. We anticipate this project will increase child participation during mealtime and reduce the negative health consequences and strong parental anxiety associated with challenging eating behaviors.”
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have a fivefold increase in eating problems when compared to typically developing (TD) children. The extreme eating behaviors (EEBs) of children with ASD are associated with nutritional deficiencies and higher rates of obesity as well as significant parental anxiety and family burden, representing a clear health risk to the child. Given the deleterious consequences of these EEBs for both the child and caregiver, we need to uncover underlying mechanisms to identify potential biomarkers and eventually develop more robust interventions. Currently, there is no standard of care to treat EEBs in ASD, perhaps because we lack an understanding of why these behaviors exist.
To honor its namesake Nedra Gillette, the Nedra Gillette Endowed Research Fellowship award is in support of a postdoctoral researcher's foundational occupational therapy study into the human condition. Please make a gift to help us support the future of OT, strengthen evidence-based practice and improve the quality of care. Your generosity will secure this scholarship for generations of OTs.