ICNC Abstracts, ICNC 2018

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Picky Eating in Autism Spectrum Disorder, its Characters and Treatment
Shigeru Hanaoka

Last modified: 2018-09-09


Introduction: Picky eating is one of the serious problems for the children with autism spectrum disorder. We examined its tendency to protect them from unbalanced nutrition. Materials and Methods: The subjects were 64 ASD children from the age of 2.0 to 12.4 years (mean 4.1, male/female=54/10). We obtained information by questionnaires about the onset age, preferable way to cook, cooking materials, seasonings etc. Results: Only 4 cases, their parents felt difficult to feed them at the weaning period. The most revealed their first symptoms around 2 years old. Refusal to vegetables occupied 63% among the first symptoms, but ‘avoid vegetables from visual information’ appeared later, within 6 months in 40% and over 6 months in 53%. The tops two of inacceptable cooking materials were vegetables in 93% and beef and pork in 45%. The bottoms three were sweets, grants and fermented materials. Vegetables by cutting in pieces and heating were preferably taken 4.9 times than salads or other raw vegetables, and beef and pork 1.6-1.8 times in mince. Dashi taste, soy sauce, and soybean paste were well accepted. 65% of children disliked sour taste. Simple taste was preferred 59.5/4.5 times than elaborated and complex taste. Two cases preferred without any seasonings. Conclusions: 1) Biting sensation (difficult to bite off) is a trigger of picky eating. 2) ASD children may have dysfunction to integrate the complex and elaborated taste. 3) It is important to cook materials easy to bite off with simple taste using Umami before making picky eaters.


picky eating, ASD, treatment

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