Feeding problems are common among children diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities. The feeding difficulties of these children potentially stem from and are maintained by numerous biological and environmental factors. This presentation will begin by providing an overview of factors that may trigger feeding difficulties with a particular focus on common problems encountered in children with autism. Conducting feeding assessments for classifying feeding difficulties will be discussed and evidence will be presented suggesting that the most common feeding problem for children with autism is food selectivity. Effective behavioral interventions for selective intake and food refusal will then be reviewed. Systematically presenting previously rejected and/or novel foods will be illustrated as an initial step in the treatment process. Then an antecedent manipulation, the simultaneous presentation of rejected/novel and preferred foods exposure, will be described. Two effective differential consequence procedures, reinforcing acceptance/ignoring refusal-related responses and escape prevention, will be reviewed. Other behavioral interventions that will be reviewed include: simultaneous presentation with food mixing, texture fading, and positive reinforcement and each intervention will be illustrated with a case example.
August 6 – 9, 2018
The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center
State College, Pennsylvania