Picky Eating Could Be Sign of Autism

A recent study from England found that many kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) were picky eaters: consuming less vegetables and fruit than other children. ASD is a broad category, including diagnosis from Sensory Processing Disorder to Attention Deficit Disorder to Autism to Aspergers Disorder.

Children with ASD are usually picky eaters, preferring the very foods that make their problems worse. Many parents consider their kids with ASD as “slow feeders” and “difficult to feed” as infants. In the new study, experts found by their first birthday, kids with ASD diets were considerably less varied, eating fewer vegetables and fruits, but they also consumed less food overall.

Not all picky eaters have ASD, but most children with ASD are picky eaters, because of their over-responsiveness to tactile sensations. They many times will eat a limited number of foods, and may completely avoid certain textures and food groups. It’s no wonder they’re picky eaters as acceptance of different textures is vital for a healthy eater.

Amy thinks the new study about picky eating
and ASD is interesting.

Besides looking at persistence picky eating as an early sign of ADS, experts reported these kids were not malnourished.  Experts need to look beyond a child being “malnourished.” Kids with ADS improve when their immune systems are supported and improved.

Jaquelyn McCandless, M.D., author of  Children with Staving Brains, says that ASD is a complex biomedical illness resulting in “significant brain malnutrition.” There’s emerging evidence that, once nutritional concerns have been addressed, children with ASD improve at some level. While the nutritional treatment will vary, there seems to be agreement that all children with ASD improve with diets free from refined sugar, white flour, and food additives. In addition, they may benefit from probiotics, cod liver oil and vitamin D.

Because kids with ASD are picky eaters, getting over the picky eating hurdle is the first step to improving their health. Parents of children with ASD have seen remarkable improvement using the Baby Bite Steps, especially when combined with improving “gut dysfunction.” The Baby Bite Steps uses positive reinforcement, while engaging a picky eater in directed-play. This conditions a positive response to various food textures and flavors. Adjust your timetable for kids with ASD. Consistency and praising your child for small steps are even more vital for a child with ASD.

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