We had a great response to a recent show on Autism Spectrum Radio and I want to share some of the valuable information that was covered on feeding issues.

Many parents struggle to get their kids to eat a healthy diet or try new things.  For parents of children with autism it can go beyond the simple battle of a finicky eater who won’t try broccoli.  Kids with ASD may have issues with food selectivity which limits their food choices to certain textures or even single colors.  The result of these issues can equate to meal times that feel like battles and in more severe cases, children may have difficulty keeping their own food down in the presence of other foods.

It is easy to understand why some parents would resign themselves to maintaining what little success they may have with their child’s food repertoire.  Unfortunately, these issues may not be on the radar of many pediatricians.  While visiting Autism Spectrum Radio, our guest Dr. Michele Wallace shared some great information about what can be done to support our kids in one of life’s most fundamental necessities, feeding.

  • Research shows that 33 to 87% of children on the autism spectrum may have feeding issues.
  • A poll by pediatricians of parents showed that 74% of ALL parents had concerns about their child’s eating.  This includes both special needs and typically developing children.
  • Pediatricians often won’t intervene until a child is off the growth chart.  This means parents need to pay attention and “trust their gut” about concerns.
  • If a parent suspects their child needs support, the first thing to do is enlist the help of your doctor.  Your pediatrician can help coordinate an appropriate team which may include:

A full medical work up
Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist to assess oral development
Behavior Analyst

The good news is that treatment for feeding issues is often very successful.  With the right team and strategy, mealtime can be a pleasant and nourishing experience for the whole family.

Click here to listen to Autism Spectrum Radio.