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The development of the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behavior, Motor Inventory for Eating (SAMIE) in children with an ASD

Nicole Atkins Withrow (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA)
Leticia Alvidrez (Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado, USA)

Advances in Autism

ISSN: 2056-3868

Article publication date: 9 May 2019

Issue publication date: 30 August 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive eating screening inventory named the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behaviors, Motor, Inventory for Eating (SAMIE). The SAMIE will accurately screen nutritional risk by identifying the four primary domains that affect eating in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Design/methodology/approach

The development of the questions was executed in three steps. First, a review of the literature was conducted. Second, expert opinion was acquired which was critical in developing the questions. Third, ten think-aloud protocols were set up to simplify the first draft. Prior to the pilot study, four participants were recruited to complete the SAMIE online.

Findings

A total of 162 participants completed the online demographic questionnaire and the SAMIE. Overall, participants did not differ between groups for demographic characteristics, BMI status and dietary intake. After conducting a series of statistical tests, results illustrated that the SAMIE is a valid measure to screen nutritional risk in children with ASD.

Practical implications

Due to the complexities of problematic eating behaviors in ASD, there is a need for a comprehensive screening inventory that encompasses the four domains that impact eating in an ASD. These domains have been identified as, namely, aberrant mealtime behavior, eating skills, dietary intake, and sensory processing and have yet to be utilized collectively to screen for nutritional risk in children with ASD.

Originality/value

The SAMIE is a novel eating screening inventory that will standardize the methodology for screening nutritional risk that can be used in clinical, community and research settings.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Kimberly Murza, PhD, CCC-SLP (UNC), Tracy Gershwin Mueller, PhD, BCBA-D (UNC), Terry Katz, PhD, Michelle Kerska Miller, LCSW, BCBA, P. Charlie Buckley, PhD CCC-SLP, Brianne Schmidt MS, RD, for assisting in the development of questions. The authors would also like to thank research Assistant Esther Hsueh, BS, MS/DI student and Research Senior Instructor Suhong Tong.

Citation

Withrow, N.A. and Alvidrez, L. (2019), "The development of the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behavior, Motor Inventory for Eating (SAMIE) in children with an ASD", Advances in Autism, Vol. 5 No. 4, pp. 268-281. https://doi.org/10.1108/AIA-08-2018-0025

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited