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The Teaspoon Method; A Simple Training Program for Feeding Disorders in High Functioning Autistic Children

DOI: 10.4236/ojped.2017.72009, PP. 59-71

Keywords: Autism, Feeding Disorders, Children, Parents

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Abstract:

Objective: About 90% of autistic children are known to have a selective feeding disorder. In particular, methods are lacking for stimulating self feeding and treating selective eating amongst school-aged and adolescent autistic children. We developed a simple training programme for paediatricians in a general hospital to improve the eating pattern of autistic children and decrease selectivity. Methods: The study is an experimental patient series. The instructions for the training were given in 15-minute sessions by a paediatrician with the use of social positive and negative reinforcements. The negative reinforcement was an avoidance situation. The training was performed with parental participation in the home environment of the child. Results and conclusion: In the before and after measurement, the quantitative intake of fruit, potatoes and vegetables increased significantly (p < 0.05). Food selectivity decreased, expressed by an increase in variation of consumed fruit, meat, potatoes and sandwich filling (p < 0.01). The costs of the training are low, and the children stay in their home environment.

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