Sep 19 2023


1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

CFG Spotlight Series: Laura Hellfeld, Rethinking Mealtime Expectations and Supporting Neurodivergent Eaters

An Interview with Laura Hellfeld, RN, MSN, PHN,

moderated by Karen Dilfer, MS, OTR/L, C/NDT

There are a lot of reasons why some children have strong food preferences and come to be known as ‘picky eaters.’ This is especially common for children who are neurodivergent, and typical mealtime expectations are often lacking the appropriate support to help these young eaters participate in a way that feels good to them. Join us for an in depth and honest conversation between Laura Hellfeld, RN, MSN, PHN, a neurodivergent healthcare professional, and CFG’s Karen Dilfer, MS, OTR/L, C/NDT, pediatric feeding specialist. This Spotlight Interview will covers topics such as the importance of recognizing neurodivergent traits that guide food choices and mealtime participation, how the current food culture might impact finding appropriate support for mealtime challenges, and how to help families start from a place of love and respect to help children feel comfortable during mealtimes and build long-term, positive relationships with food.


Important Registration Information

Tickets are available for Parent/Caregivers, Students, or Professionals. Please use the appropriate ticket for your role. Professional are asked to register individually (not as as group).

Time & Date

Please note this event is taking place at 1:00 pm Central Time, and will be held virtually via Zoom. To find out what time this is where you live, look here. Registration will close at 5:00 pm Central Time 9/18/2023. **Please check your spam folder as our emails occasionally end up there.**

CEU Credits

This course is being submitted for credit with the Illinois Early Intervention Program. Please check with your local professional organization to determine additional professional education credit. Those who have paid for a professional ticket and are in attendance for the duration of the full event will receive a certificate of attendance for credit. Those who registered for a student ticket will also receive a certificate, however these will not be eligible for CEUs.

Financial Assistance

Should cost be a concern that would hinder your participation, we may be able to offer financial assistance. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Please contact Lindsay Hoffer at


About Laura Hellfeld

Laura Hellfeld is a neurodivergent (Autistic, PDA & ADHD) health care professional, consultant and advocate. Her education includes a Masters in Nursing (RN, MSN), licensure in Public Health Nursing (PHN) and certification as a Sleep Consultant. She works as an independent Nurse Consultant to support their neurodivergent community. This includes individuals, families and professionals at school settings, charities and businesses. Laura specializes in PDA, distress behaviours and self-care like eating and sleep. She is also passionate about supporting Autistic mental health by helping build in-person and online community spaces. Laura is also an Editor of the upcoming magazine publication, Autistic Revolution.

About Karen Dilfer

Karen is an occupational therapist, feeding specialist, and food enthusiast.  She has a strong pediatric background and loves to help children with motor, sensory, and mealtime challenges. Karen received her Masters of Science degree from Washington University in St. Louis and is Neurodevelopmental  Treatment (NDT) trained. She also completed post-graduate education in Sensory Integration. Karen has worked with Marsha Dunn Klein, M.Ed., OTR/L, a leading expert in the field of pediatric feeding and creator of the “Get Permission” Approach to Mealtimes.  Karen works in private practice and Early Intervention in the Chicagoland area.