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Care Expert Speaker Series

Spring 2019

Behavioral Research on Obesity, Physical Activity, and Oral Health with Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disability, and a Call for Multidisciplinary Teamwork.

Richard K. Fleming, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Exercise and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Boston

Learning Objectives for this Presentation:

1.    Characterize key health disparities, and determinants of health behaviors and outcomes, in the areas of obesity, physical activity (PA)/exercise, and oral health with children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

2.    Identify and describe behavior analytic methods as they relate to pediatric research and practice in the areas of obesity, PA/exercise, and oral health with children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

3.    Describe and begin to envision the design of obesity, PA/exercise, and oral health education/training components of health interventions for children and youth with IDD.


Health disparities affect obesity prevalence, levels of physical activity (PA) and exercise, and access to oral health care among children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Determinants of health behaviors and outcomes in this population continue to be identified, and interventions tested. What appears to be emerging in the pediatrics community is the role of behavior analysis in the prevention and treatment of overweight and obesity, the promotion of physical activity (PA) and exercise, and efforts to improve oral health care in children and youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Reciprocal communication between these professions is needed. Behavior analysts are encouraged to learn more about health behavior change and pediatric guidelines for health promotion in anticipation of playing a greater role in this area. This presentation will describe three of the presenter’s research projects that exemplify multidisciplinary teamwork to: (1) promote weight loss and weight maintenance in youth with intellectual disabilities, (2) increase community-based physical activity in adolescents with autism spectrum disorder, and (3) educate oral health providers and students about the oral health care needs of people with autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities.

Innovations to Reduce Disparities in Autism Care

Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, M.D., MPH,
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine

  • When: Thursday March 7 from 3:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Where: Dugan Hall room 102, 883 Broadway St., Lowell, 01854.
  • Get directions to Dugan Hall with campus maps.
    A visitors parking lot is available nearby on Wilder and Bachelder (entrance on Bachelder).

Dr. Sarabeth Broder-Fingert, MD, is passionate about developing and testing interventions to help improve the lives of children at risk and also understanding how and why these interventions are implemented.

In 2012 she received funding in the form of a HRSA-funded T32 research fellowship from Mass General.

Currently, she is researching how to eliminate differences in care between children with autism spectrum disorder and neurotypical children.

Employment Seeking For Individuals With Autism

Maureen Crawford Hentz, Vice-President, Human Resources, A.W. Chesterton Company will return to discuss employment seeking for individuals with autism.

  • When: (date TBD)
  • Where: HSSB, UMass Lowell South Campus, TBD

This presentation will be geared towards adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum, their parents/guardians, transition specialists, and agencies who provide services to those on the autism spectrum and their families.

Get directions to Health and Social Sciences Building with campus maps.
A large parking lot is available across the street from the building with entry on Wilder. Parking is free. This parking lot has a barrier which will be raised in time for the talk.

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