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About Joan

It all started with an an Easy Bake Oven.

I chose to become a registered dietitian 38 years ago. It's a great profession. I get to play with food, connect with people, and, on a good day, make a difference for someone.

I became involved with Issues experienced by people with Down syndrome and related disabilities 31 years ago with the birth of my son. As we all know, parents of kids with disabilities are involved in the big picture immediately – like it or not! I chose to work in the field of nutrition and health promotion for people with Down syndrome 26 years ago. It’s a choice I will never regret. I learn more from the people with whom I work than I ever did in school.

Here’s a snapshot of my academic and professional experiences on this journey. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from Kansas State University. In 1995, I became the editor of Disability Solutions: A Resource for Families and Others Interested in Down Syndrome and Related Disabilities. It changed my life professionally and personally. I began researching and implementing nutrition practices that incorporated the best practices published in Disability Solutions through workshops and individual experiences with people with Down syndrome. These experiences led me to focus on evidence-based best practices based in a way that is easy-to-understand and put to use. 

Once again, my son influenced my work in 1996. I was honored to edit and publish ground-breaking information related to the co-occurrence of Down syndrome and Autism with George Capone, MD in Disability Solutions.

I earned my Masters in Education from the University of Boston @ Massachusetts in 2010 to provide teeth to my desire to create education al programming that is effective and understandable.

Along the way I poured my heart into writing and creating visually-based materials including  The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Healthy Lifestyles. (2002, 2006), and then on to publish Cooking by Color: Recipes for Independence (2011) along with a wide variety of other tools. In fact, I'm still creating today. Many of the digital tools are available on this son the products page.

Sharing the journey with Andy and the rest of my family and friends is a big part of this work. That includes you. Thank you for sharing a moment of your time with me. I hope you will find a kernel of useful information within these pages. 

More detailed information is available by clicking on my portfolio or my CV. 

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