You Want Me to Eat What? Novel Treatment Approaches for Food Selectivity and Feeding Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Food selectivity and feeding problems are highly prevalent in children with ASD, yet few empirically supported interventions are available. Behavioral interventions are widely used in clinical feeding programs and show promise in preliminary studies; however, these time-intensive treatments are generally limited to inpatient or day treatment settings and have not been rigorously examined via randomized clinical trials. This symposium will present current efforts in the field aimed at establishing evidence-based treatments for the heterogeneous array of food selectivity and feeding problems in ASD. Three novel treatments at different stages of rigorous intervention development and evaluation will be presented: Autism MEAL Plan, Parent Training Program for Feeding Problems, and the BUFFET Program. These programs aim to bring feeding treatments to an outpatient setting and incorporate novel treatment components, including greater parental involvement, closer collaboration across disciplines (behavior specialists and nutrition experts), utilization of a group therapy model, and cognitive behavioral strategies tailored for older and cognitively higher functioning individuals. A final presentation will discuss co-occurring factors (i.e., obesity and physical activity) that may be key mediators or moderators to treatment response and merit consideration for integration into feeding treatment programs.
Saturday, May 16, 2015: 10:30 AM-12:30 PM
Grand Salon (Grand America Hotel)
Panel Chair:
E. S. Kuschner