ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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Eating behaviour in Children with Autism
Sachitra Rathod, Subramanian Mahadevan

Last modified: 2018-09-09


Introduction:  Autism is a neurobiological disorder that has its onset before 3 years of age. This study conducted to assess the eating behaviour in children with autism in comparison to normal children.

Methods: It is a case control study conducted in South India from February 2013 to May 2014. Thirty-three children aged 3 to 12 years diagnosed as autism based on ICD 10 formed the cases and 35 developmentally normal children attending pediatric Out Patient clinic for minor illness formed controls. Institute Ethics Committee approval was obtained. Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) and Vineland Social Maturity Scale (VSMS) were used to determine severity of autism and Social Quotient respectively. Child Eating Behaviour Questionnaire (CEBQ) was used to assess eating behaviour. Cases were followed up at 2 months and 4 months for eating and behaviour assessment. The two groups were subsequently compared. P<0.05 was considered to be significant.

Results: Mean CEBQ score among cases was 94.6 and among controls 90.1. Among the domains of CEBQ, Enjoyment of food, Slowness in Eating, Food Fussiness and Satiety Responsiveness were significantly different in the two groups. On follow up at 2 months and 4 months there was no significant change in the eating behaviour.

Conclusions: Enjoyment of food was better in children with autism when they were allowed to feed themselves apart from being fed by the guardian. Thus, understanding the repetitive movements might help the children with autism in acquiring self-feeding skills.



eating, autism, CEBQ, VSMS, CARS

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