Program Director, Psychologist
Associate Professor, Emory University School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics
William Sharp, PhD, received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Mississippi and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del. His training focused on the application of behavioral interventions to address a wide range of common yet challenging childhood concerns, including disruptive behavior, feeding disorders, anxiety, toileting issues and sleep difficulties.
Following his fellowship, Dr. Sharp transitioned to Marcus Autism Center’s Feeding Program in 2007 and assumed the role of Director of the Feeding Program in 2013. In this role, Dr. Sharp leads a team of multidisciplinary professionals whose mission is to enhance the overall quality of life for children and their families by providing evidenced-based, comprehensive care for the medical, behavioral, nutritional and oral motor concerns associated with pediatric feeding disorders.
Under his leadership, the Feeding Program has undergone significant expansion at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, including the opening of a second location at the Center for Advanced Pediatrics in 2018, as well as growth in assessment and outpatient services at numerous Children’s ambulatory locations.
Dr. Sharp is nationally and internationally recognized for his presentations and publications on the prevalence, cause and potential impact of chronic feeding difficulties and related challenging behaviors in pediatric populations. His current research focuses on developing and evaluating innovative, community-viable methods of treatment delivery-based on the need to expand the availability of effective interventions in community settings.
He has co-authored a treatment manual for parents on this topic and published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters related to psychological treatment of children. In 2014, he was awarded the Allied Healthcare Hero Award by the Atlanta Business Chronicle for his dedication to improving treatment and access to care for children with chronic and severe feeding concerns.
- Berry, R. C., Novak, P., Withrow, N., Schmidt, B., Rarback, S., Feucht, S., Criado, K. K., & Sharp, W. G. (2015). Nutrition management of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder: Guideline from an expert panel. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 115 (12), 1919-1927.
- Criado, K. K., Sharp, W. G., McCracken, C. E., De Vinck-Baroody, O., Dong, L., Aman, M. G., McDougle, C. J., McCracken, J. T., Eugene Arnold, L., Weitzman, C., Leventhal, J. M., Vitiello, B., & Scahill, L. (2017). Overweight and obese status in children with autism spectrum disorder and disruptive behavior. Autism: The international journal of research and practice, 22 (4), 450-459.
- Eddy, K. T., Harshman, S. G., Becker, K. R., Bern, E., Bryant-Waugh, R., Hilbert, A., Katzman, D. K., Lawson, E. A., Manzo, L. D., Menzel, J., Micali, N., Ornstein, R., Sally, S., Serinsky, S. P., Sharp, W., Stubbs, K., Walsh, B. T., Zickgraf, H., Zucker, N., & Thomas, J. J. (2019). Radcliffe ARFID Workgroup: Toward operationalization of research diagnostic criteria and directions for the field. The International Journal of Eating Disorders.
- Lesack, R., Bearss, K., Celano, M., & Sharp, W. G. (2014). Parent-child interaction therapy and autism spectrum disorder: Adaptations with a child with severe developmental delays. Clinical Practice in Pediatric Psychology, 2, 68-82.
- McCracken, C. E., & Sharp, W. G. (2017). Intensive multidisciplinary intervention for pediatric feeding disorders. Journal of Pediatrics, 188, 313-314.
- McElhanon, B. O., McCracken, C., Karpen, S., & Sharp, W. G. (2014). Gastrointestinal symptoms in autism spectrum disorder: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 133, 872-883.
- Sharp, W. G., & Stubbs, K. H. (2019). Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: A diagnosis at the intersection of feeding and eating disorders necessitating subtype differentiation. The International Journal of Eating Disorders.
- Sharp, W. G., Postorino, V., McCracken, C. E., Berry, R. C., Criado, K. K., Burrell, T. L., & Scahill, L. (2018). Dietary intake, nutrient status, and growth parameters in children with autism spectrum disorder and severe food selectivity: An electronic medical record review. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 118 (10), 1943-1950.
- Sharp, W. G., Stubbs, K. H., Adams, H., Wells, B. M., Lesack, R. S., Criado, K. K., Simon, E. L., McCracken, C. E., West, L. L., & Scahill, L. D. (2016). Intensive, manual-based intervention for pediatric feeding disorders: Results from a randomized pilot trial. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 62 (4), 658-663.
- Sharp, W. G., Trumbull, A., & Lesack, R. (2015). Blending to treat expulsion in a child with food refusal. Behavioral Interventions, 30, 247-255.
- Sharp, W. G., Burrell, T. L., & Jaquess, D. L. (2013). The Autism MEAL Plan: A parent-training curriculum to manage eating aversions and low intake among children with autism. Autism: the international journal of research and practice, 18 (6), 712-722.
- Sharp, W. G. (2018) Feeding difficulties, dietary considerations, gastrointestinal symptoms, and obesity in autism spectrum disorders: Assessment and treatment. Invited masterclass presented at Irabina Autism Center, Melbourne, Australia.
- Sharp, W. G. (2018) Multidisciplinary assessment and behavior treatment of children with feeding disorders. Presented at the 2018 Annual Southeastern Neonatal/Pediatric Nutrition Conference, Wilmington, NC.
- Sharp, W. G. (2018) Assessment and treatment of pediatric feeding disorders – A historical subtype of avoidant-restrictive food intake disorder. Presented at the seventh annual Veritas Collaborative Symposium on Eating Disorders, Atlanta, GA.
- Sharp, W. G. (2016) Assessment and treatment of feeding concerns in children with ASD. Presented at The Georgia Autism Providers Conference, Jekyll Island, GA.
- Sharp, W. G. (2016) Assessment and treatment of feeding problems in children with ASD. Presented at The 2016 Summit, The Help Group, Los Angeles, CA.
- Sharp, W. G., & Berry, R. (2016) Detection and treatment of severe nutritional deficits in autism. Presented at The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Boston, MA.
- Sharp, W. G., & Berry, R. (2014) Feeding the child with autism, one case at a time. Presented at The Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, Atlanta, GA.
- Sharp, W. G., & Berry, R. (2014) Pediatric Feeding Disorder: Assessing typical dietary fluctuations vs. chronic/severe feeding problems. Presented at The North American Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition Annual Meeting and Postgraduate Course, Atlanta, GA.
- Sharp, W. G. (2014) Feeding disorders: Evidence-based approaches to assessment and intervention. Invited instructor for the American Academy of Pediatrics Intensive Review and Update of Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics, Atlanta, GA.