Food and Feeding Issues in ASD

Feeding an autistic child can often be challenging. Working together with specialists will help to form a plan to help your child’s eating habits get on track.

Learn from Kelly Barnhill as she explains the diagnosis and treatment of feeding issues often faced by autistic children.

Food and Feeding Issues in ASD
By: Autism Research Institute
Initial Air Date: Feb 24, 2016
Source: YouTube

What We Learned from this Video:

  • By two years old, toddlers should be chewing and swallowing without issue, be able to consume any liquid or solid, and base consumption is dictated by taste, not skill.
  • Children with autism often have nutritional deficiencies due to their more selective eating habits.
  • A problem eater will eat 20 foods or less, and may at times completely refuse to eat. 
  • Resistant eaters have severe food aversions, eating less than 15 foods and often avoiding an entire food group.
  • 90% of autism parents report eating issues with their child.
  • A “master plan” for the child should be built on information from caregivers, medical practitioners, a nutrition specialist and any therapists involved with the child.
  • Set meal timeframes and schedules. Reward the child if they eat their meal.
  • Start with foods the child is comfortable with, then slowly start to introduce variety.
  • Do not give each family member different meals. The entire family should eat the same meal.
  • Change meals often. Do not give in to food jags.
  • Use rewards and praise to positively reinforce good eating behaviors.
  • Do not allow grazing and only offer water during meal times.
  • Make sure any family and friends involved are on the same page.
  • Prepare for difficulty and do not get discouraged.

By finding the right specialists and creating a meal plan, you can help your child develop a  healthy set of eating habits. Schedule  a consultation with Ability Life Solutions to find the right team for you and your loved one on the spectrum.

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