Minneapolis Special Needs Child Services

Minneapolis Special Needs Child Services

Individuals with special needs may be more sensitive to certain foods and textures. This can lead to challenging behaviors at meals over these foods, which can be especially hard for the family who has to ensure that their loved one is getting the proper nutrition through food. 

Individuals with developmental disorders may not want to sit for a meal. They may not eat if everything is not in its usual spot. The food may smell funky or be at the wrong temperature, which is a challenge for the individual with food aversions. This can lead to poor nutrition, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, and frustrated parents who feel like they are letting the disability win.

About Me

My passion for providing nutrition and fitness coaching to people of all abilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities. However, helping those with special needs is personal. I’m the proud mother of an 18-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism Spectrum Disorder comes with cognitive delay, developmental delays, speech delay, difficulties focusing and staying on task, hyperactivity, and difficulty with schedule changes.

My son doesn’t care for sports and games, but he enjoys swinging, running, and swimming. He requires one-on-one coaching from people committed to alternative approaches to engage and challenge him. Regarding diet, my son is hesitant to try new foods or retry foods he didn’t initially enjoy. With patience, creativity, and persistence over many months and years, I’ve been able to expand his taste palette.

In addition, I am familiar with products, companies, resources, and opportunities that can help people with disabilities (and their families) succeed.

I also know how challenging working it can be for families who care for loved ones with developmental disabilities or autism spectrum disorder, and how few community services and support services are available out there.

I have three years of experience as a Program Specialist for adults with disabilities. I led weekly sports, fitness, cooking, and nutrition classes for the clients. Each nutrition class focused on a topic, such as Vitamin A, fiber, or calcium. During class, I would educate clients on the topic and provide examples of why it’s healthy.

We would spend half of the class cooking a meal that contained a good source of that vitamin or mineral. These classes presented a great way for clients to learn about new foods and how to prepare them and are a great way to empower families. Many of my clients didn’t know how to use basic kitchen gadgets like a can opener at the start of the class!

Each week we would shop together for food, try a different fruit or vegetable, and cook the meal together. In addition, I led weekly fitness classes on stretching, yoga, and cardio and incorporated walking programs for clients of all different levels, including people with disabilities.

How It Works

During our Free Discovery Call, I will collect a diet history and discuss Common food trends for people with Autism. This may include Gluten Free, Casein Free, or GI disorders. As a parent of an adult with Autism, I have likely had the same thoughts many times. I have definitely felt like I failed as a mother because my son ate hamburgers every night for two weeks! Learning to take those situations and finding the positives (and humor) in those situations can be empowering.

Dietitian and Fitness Services may be covered by your Insurance or State Waiver services. I am happy to discuss these options with you in more depth.

Packages

There are several designed for in-home visits in the Twin Cities metro area. Virtual options are available as well.

If there is an area that you would like to work on nutritionally or fitness, let’s discuss it. I want to help

1:1 nutrition counseling focusing on

  • Food aversions
  • Textures
  • Trying new foods
  • Allergies
  • Getting the most nutrition out of the foods of highest preferences
  • Providing you with shopping lists including alternatives and menu plans
  • In-home services.

     It can be easier to put things into perspective when you learn in your environment.  My services have the option to come to your home and provide nutrition and fitness coaching, cooking classes, meal prep and kitchen orientation.   

1:1 fitness coaching

  • Individualized workout plans, according to his or her fitness level and medical considerations, including but not limited to Weight lifting, strength training, Running, Walking, and Cycling
  • Implement individualized exercise, nutrition, strength, and conditioning plans to encourage healthier lifestyles
  • Implement exercises to increase range of motion
  • Provide step by step instructions for each exercise through demonstration and handouts provided to you.
  • Train on equipment and software to keep track of your journey

I desire to motivate each individual to achieve his or her personal wellness goals through developing and modifying routines that match your special health care needs and families living with special needs children. I'll gladly work with individuals with special health needs, including children with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, or other disabilities.

I'll gladly work with young adults, children or older adults, including seniors. Early intervention is important for those with special health care needs, so please feel free to reach out to me if you need help.

Learn more about pricing for special needs services.

Do you have a family member with special needs that would benefit from one-on-one nutrition and fitness consulting?