Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 2, pp 583–591 | Cite as

Sensory Sensitivity and Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Liem T. Chistol
  • Linda G. Bandini
  • Aviva Must
  • Sarah Phillips
  • Sharon A. Cermak
  • Carol Curtin
Original Paper

Abstract

Few studies have compared atypical sensory characteristics and food selectivity between children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We compared oral sensory processing between children with (n = 53) and without ASD (n = 58), ages 3–11 years. We also examined the relationships between atypical oral sensory processing, food selectivity, and fruit/vegetable consumption in children with ASD. We found that more children with ASD presented with atypical sensory processing than children without ASD. Among children with ASD, those with atypical oral sensory sensitivity refused more foods and ate fewer vegetables than those with typical oral sensory sensitivity. The findings suggest that efforts to address food selectivity in children with ASD may be enhanced by including strategies that address oral sensory processing.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Food selectivity Sensory sensitivity 

Notes

Funding

This research was funded by the following Grants: R21HD048989-01A2 (NICHD; Diet, Activity and Obesity in Children with Autism); UA3MC25735-01-00 (MCHB; MCH Research Network on Promoting Healthy Weight (HWRN) among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities); 2P30HD004147-33A2 (NICHD; Interdisciplinary Research in Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities); and P30DK046200 (NIH; Boston Nutrition Obesity Research Center).

Author Contributions

LTC and LGB conceived of the study with clinical and scholarly input from CC and SAC. SP performed the statistical analyses with input/consultation from AM. All authors participated in the writing of the manuscript. CC led the effort to respond to the reviewers’ critiques and revised the manuscript accordingly, with input and approval from all the other authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liem T. Chistol
    • 1
  • Linda G. Bandini
    • 2
    • 3
  • Aviva Must
    • 4
  • Sarah Phillips
    • 4
  • Sharon A. Cermak
    • 5
  • Carol Curtin
    • 6
  1. 1.Sargent College of Health & Rehabilitation SciencesBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, E.K. Shriver Center, UMass Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health SciencesBoston UniversityBostonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Public Health and Community MedicineTufts University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  5. 5.Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of DentistryUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  6. 6.Department of Family Medicine & Community HealthE.K. Shriver Center, UMass Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA

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