It’s nice to meet you!
Welcome! I’m Elisa.
I am a Pediatric Registered Dietitian, a wife, and a mom of two.
I was born and raised in Upstate New York, in a big, loud and loving Italian family.
I completed my Master’s in Nutrition Science from Syracuse University in 2013 and this is when my interest in nutrition for autism began.
My cousin Lawrence was 2 years old and had just been diagnosed with autism.
His mom, my aunt Adriana, is like a sister to me. She described feeling “overwhelmed, helpless and afraid”. Of course, I wanted to help her so I started researching and learning.
Everything I found, I shared with her. We came up with a plan to improve Lawrence’s diet, making small, consistent changes that added up to big results.
Lawrence was my first client and he is my first reason for this work.
I remember watching him at meals, eating only white foods – American cheese, crackers, yogurt, white bread. He had frequent meltdowns, could not tolerate being touched, seldom made eye contact and often seemed to be in another world.
I knew his diet wasn’t meeting his nutritional needs. What I did not know was that the effects of an improved diet were so far reaching. I watched as diet changes improved his autism symptoms, most notably his disposition. He was more calm, less spacey and less irritable.
He could look at me and would hold my hand. I saw fewer signs of pain and digestive upset. This experience opened my eyes to the power of diet for those with autism and spurred me to educate myself further. I realized there is such a need for specialists in this area and yet, there are so few dietitians working with the families affected by autism. I wanted to help fill this gap and this is why I began Elisa Rocks, RDN, my own telehealth private practice.
What my clients are saying…
The diet Elisa designed for my son helped him to calm down, focus and most importantly helped to heal his gut. When you start a special diet for your child you are always wondering “am I doing it right” and “is my child getting the proper nutrients he/she needs.” Elisa takes the guesswork and worrying away. There is no guilt or judgement involved, just a sincere desire to help you and your child!
~Adriana H, NY
Elisa was the first medical professional that listened to me and didn’t think I was crazy. She has been such an amazing dietitian. She has found all my answers to why I have constipation, GERD, leaky gut, IBS, hives/rashes, bloating etc… She ordered every test I wanted and put a plan together based on what my body needed. I found out I do have a yeast overgrowth, mold, inflammation, food intolerances. I am healing and feel the best I have felt in years. She has changed my life and I would 100% recommend her.
~Ashley B, NY
I was suffering from ongoing GI issues. I had tried going to various doctors and tons of research on my own but I couldn’t seem to figure it out. Elisa never made me feel silly or uneducated, she was super helpful in understanding my issues. Her approach was great and it’s clear she has a ton of knowledge when it comes to her specialization.
~Ben G, NY
Elisa is EXTREMELY knowledgeable and will get you and your child feeling so much better. She taught me how to help my picky daughter eat a variety of foods, which she does now! She helped me protect my entire family by reducing toxins in my diet and my home. Before working with Elisa, I felt at a loss and anxious. After working with her I feel like I have control again and I know the direction I’m heading in.
~Carolyn H, NY
~Happy client, NY
I wanted to help my young adult autistic son be more invested in making healthy food choices, while still allowing him autonomy over those choices. Elisa has been wonderful! She took time to talk with me first, evaluate my son’s current diet, formulate a plan with me, and then develop and address goals directly with me and my son, in a way that he could understand. I highly recommend Elisa if you have a child or young adult on the autism spectrum who is struggling with making healthier choices in their diet. She has been understanding, compassionate, and extremely knowledgeable and informative.
~Ruth M, PA
Education and Credentials:
- Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences and Psychology; Binghamton University
- Master of Arts in Nutrition Science and Dietetics; Syracuse University
- Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)
- New York State Certified Dietitian-Nutritionist (CDN)
- Certified GAPS Diet Practitioner
- SOS Sensory Approach to Feeding Therapist (Level 1 Advanced)
- Certified Leap Therapist (CLT) by Oxford Medical Technologies
- Researcher and writer for the Autism Nutrition Library