Abstract

Introduction: Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate poor health-related behaviors, such as nutrition, compared to their typically developed (TD) counterparts. With the occurrence of the COVID-19 pandemic and mandatory stay-at-home orders, such health-related behaviors may be complicated and there is a need to focus on feasibility and acceptability of in-person and remote-based nutrition programs.

Methods: Eleven high school students with ASD were recruited to participate in a modified nutrition program utilizing Zoom software during COVID-19. The duration was once a week for four weeks, and concepts reviewed included shopping for healthy food on a budget, introducing non-perishable but nutritious food items, and food preparation safety measures.

Results: Ninety-seven percent of participants attended the remote-based nutrition program, while 87% attended the in-person nutrition program. While in-person demonstrated benefits including face-to-face interaction and hands-on cooking, the remote-based component demonstrated a high degree of feasibility and acceptability. Half of the students felt their health-related behaviors were negatively impacted by COVID-19 but reported that the implementation of the remote-based nutrition program positively impacted their nutrition choices.

Conclusion: The enforcement of health-related behaviors in adolescents with ASD is significant especially during disaster-related situations. Future research should focus on efficacy and intertwining methods of in-person and remote-based learning of a nutrition or other health-related behavioral interventions in this population.

Thesis Completion

2020

Semester

Fall

Thesis Chair

Garcia, Jeanette M.

Degree

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)

College

College of Health and Public Affairs

Department

Health Sciences

Degree Program

Health Sciences; Health Promotion

Language

English

Access Status

Open Access

Release Date

12-1-2020

Share

COinS