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Autism

Will Food Chaining Help My Autistic Child?

05/27/2009

Question:

Is there any evidence that Food Chaining works with older children? My son is a young teen. He is an extremely picky eater, typical of Asperger`s.

The food pickiness has gotten worse since middle school started.  He used to eat about 15 things, now he eats about 10. We saw a dietician who recommended food chaining. We went to a speech therapist.  

I feel overwhelmed.

Does this food chaining work in an early teen? From what I have been reading it seems to mainly been used with younger children. My son is in fact a pretty pleasant, well behaved child.

Answer:

Dear Parent:

You've already tried and completed many excellent interventions for your son. Food chaining is a behavioral intervention to address food selectivity and has been used successfully with many children.

My concern in your case is that your son's food selectivity has recently worsened and he has multiple medical concerns. Before embarking on a new treatment, I would first visit his pediatrician to rule out a medical or medication basis for this change in his selectivity.

After this I would consult with a feeding team familiar with adolescents with Asperger's. The feeding team should provide you with an intervention program (that may include food chaining). Best of luck.

For more information:

Go to the Autism health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Paula C Rabidoux, PhD/CCC-SLP Paula C Rabidoux, PhD/CCC-SLP
Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Clinical Associate Professor of Speech & Hearing
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences
The Ohio State University