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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2021

Isabelle Beaudry-Bellefeuille, Maria Pomoni, Angharad Welch, Tania Moriyón-Iglesias, Marta Suárez-González and Eduardo Ramos-Polo

The aim of this paper is to share the details of a multidisciplinary approach, which includes occupational therapy, and to review the factors that should be considered in the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to share the details of a multidisciplinary approach, which includes occupational therapy, and to review the factors that should be considered in the evaluation and treatment of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) who are excessively selective in their food choices. Issues in this area are complex and often related to several complementary domains (medical, nutritional, psychosocial, sensorimotor, etc.). However, feeding disorders are frequently assessed and treated from a single discipline and important issues are missed or confounded.

Design/methodology/approach

A team of experienced clinicians in the field of paediatric feeding disorders gathered the knowledge and experience they acquired from working with individuals with ASD as well as with individuals with other neurodevelopmental diagnosis. A review of current literature in paediatric feeding disorders was used to document and explicate the multifactorial nature of feeding disorders in children with ASD and justify the need for a multidisciplinary approach to issues in this area.

Findings

Feeding disorders in children with ASD are linked to multiple sensory, motor, behavioural, nutritional and gastrointestinal comorbidities. A multidisciplinary approach is needed and increasingly recommended. However, multidisciplinary teams, specialised in the care of children with ASD and feeding issues, continue to be difficult to locate and access for families. The authors sought to highlight the signs of feeding problems in children with ASD from different domains and share a model of a multidisciplinary approach that can lead to more successful interventions.

Originality/value

The detailed description of the domains linked to feeding issues and the clinical descriptions provided throughout the paper create a roadmap for other clinicians aiming to set up similar teams.

Details

Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-8819

Keywords

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