What are the typical signs and characteristics of feeding disorders in children?
Feeding disorders are classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) officially as Feeding Disorder of Infancy or Early Childhood. Official diagnosis requires:
Feeding disturbance as manifested by persistent failure to eat adequately with significant failure to gain weight or significant loss of weight over at least one month.
The disturbance is not due to an associated gastrointestinal or other general medical condition (e.g., esophageal reflux).
The disturbance is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., rumination disorder) or by lack of available food.
The onset is before the age of 6 years.
In the year 2000, a study conducted by Gail P. Williams, Nancy Dalrymple and Jaime Neal found that 67 percent of parents of children with autism described their child as a poor eater. However, 73 percent of that same group of parents [More…] reported that their child had a good appetite for preferred foods (Williams, 2000). Realizing that their child can eat but chooses not to eat in a healthy manner can be very frustrating for parents.
Problems with food acceptance are common for children on the autism spectrum. Many families struggle with these issues thinking that the child’s picky eating habits are simply a product of their diagnosis of autism. Moving Past Picky Eating is a free webinar that aims to show how these challenging behaviors can change for the better through ABA therapy.