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Eating behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder



The objective of this study was to analyze feeding behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder.


Twenty-one children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) participated in this study, aged 2 to 14 years old, of both sexes. A questionnaire on feeding behavior was applied to the 21 parents and/or responsible of the children. This instrument consists of 53 questions, distributed in the following categories: Motricity in chewing; Food selectivity; Behavioral aspects; Gastrointestinal symptoms; Sensory sensitivity and Skills in meals.


The analysis of the data obtained reveals that children with ASD showed greater changes in eating behavior in the categories Food selectivity (34.4%), Behavioral aspects (27.1%) and Motricity in mastication (21.9%). And there was a correlation between the chewing motricity category with all other categories. There was also a correlation between food selectivity with behavioral aspects and behavioral aspects with sensory sensitivity and mealtime skills.


Therefore, it is possible to observe that in the eating behavior of children with autism spectrum disorder there is a tendency towards food selectivity, habitual behaviors during meals and motor difficulties with regard to chewing and food intake.

Feeding behavior; autism spectrum disorder; child

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