Child Eating Behaviors and Caregiver Feeding Practices in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

New CAR Research Sheds Light on

 

Universal Screening for Autism in Toddlers

TitleChild Eating Behaviors and Caregiver Feeding Practices in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsKral, TVE, Souders, MC, Tompkins, VH, Remiker, AM, Eriksen, WT, Pinto-Martin, JA
JournalPublic Health Nurs
Volume32
Issue5
Pagination488-97
Date Published2015 Sep-Oct
ISSN1525-1446
KeywordsAutism Spectrum Disorder, Body Weight, Caregivers, Case-Control Studies, Child, Child Behavior, Child, Preschool, Cross-Sectional Studies, Feeding Behavior, Female, Humans, Male, Pilot Projects, Surveys and Questionnaires
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: This pilot study compared children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and typically developing children (TDC) on weight-related outcomes and caregiver-reported child eating behaviors and feeding practices.DESIGN AND SAMPLE: Cross-sectional study. Caregivers of 25 children with ASD and 30 TDC, ages 4-6.METHODS: Caregivers completed validated questionnaires that assessed child eating behaviors and feeding practices. Children's height, weight, and waist circumference were measured.RESULTS: Children with ASD, when compared to TDC, showed significantly greater abdominal waist circumferences (p = .01) and waist-to-height ratios (p < .001). Children with ASD with atypical oral sensory sensitivity exhibited greater food avoidance behaviors, including reluctance to eat novel foods (p = .004), being selective about the range of foods they accept (p = .03), and undereating due to negative emotions (p = .02), than children with ASD with typical oral sensory sensitivity. Caregivers of children with ASD with atypical oral sensory sensitivity reported using food to regulate negative child emotions to a greater extent than caregivers of children with typical oral sensory sensitivity (p = .02).DISCUSSION: Children with ASD, especially those with atypical oral sensory sensitivity, are at increased risk for food avoidance behaviors and may require additional support in several feeding domains.

DOI10.1111/phn.12146
Alternate JournalPublic Health Nurs
PubMed ID25112438
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