Eating Behavior Is ASD Child According to Mothers Narratives.
Objectives: This study aims to investigate the eating behavior of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) individuals through their mothers’ narratives.
Methods: The chosen methodological approach was the study of narratives, as we sought the reporting of narrator’s experiences. Data on the eating habits of individuals with autism spectrum disorder were collected during semi-structured interviews held individually with the parents/guardians. The interviews were recorded, transcribed and codified using the NVivo software program.
Results: Eighteen mothers of boys with ASD participated in the study. Analysis of the interviews yielded three major categories: eating patterns, the family’s attitudes in relation to the child’s eating habits, and food-related behavior. The results show that factors related to autism spectrum disorder may affect the child’s food choices. Environmental factors, particularly the parents’ behavior, may also play a decisive role, both in reinforcing the child’s food choices and in encouraging a healthier and more diversified diet.
Conclusions: Professionals should be attentive and instruct parents regarding their decisive role in reinforcing or discouraging inappropriate mealtime behavior in children with autism spectrum disorder.
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