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Feeding Difficulties In Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder: Aetiology, Health Impacts And Psychotherapeutic Interventions.

Vincent Zhu, Jacqueline Dalby-Payne
Published 2019 · Medicine

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Feeding difficulties are common and significant issues for children with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Key features of autism are intrinsically linked with factors contributing to these children's feeding difficulties. Following a multidisciplinary assessment to exclude non-behavioural reasons for the feeding difficulty, there are two mainstay modalities of treatment: operant conditioning and systematic desensitisation. Currently, evidence points towards operant conditioning as the most efficacious psychotherapy. However, recent research into cognitive behavioural therapy for older children with feeding difficulties has shown promising results and will be an area to monitor in the coming years. This review outlines the causes and health impacts and evaluates current evidence supporting the available psychotherapeutic interventions for children with autism spectrum disorder experiencing feeding difficulties.
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