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Autistic spectrum disorders

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition which presents in early childhood that exudes behavioural, sensory and cognitive dysfunctions and often, feeding difficulties.

Parents may suspect their baby or child has autism when they have noticed their child avoiding particular foods, textures or tastes, becoming fussy or having difficulty weaning. Our multidisciplinary team of therapists can help your child with their feeding difficulties whether they have had a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder or not. To book an assessment please contact us.

Children with autism or sensory processing disorders are more likely to have feeding difficulties or food aversion due to the nature of their disorders. Children with autism spectrum disorder / sensory processing disorders often find it difficult to try new foods. They are also often very specific about what foods they will eat. Children with autism spectrum disorder may only eat a particular brand of cereal or they might only eat foods of a specific texture or colours which can be very distressing for parents and could cause nutritional deficiencies, faltering growth or illness if their diet is not assessed.

Our specialist dietitians can assess your child’s nutritional intake and check whether their diet is supplying them with the correct vitamins, nutrients and energy. Our team can work together to develop a plan to improve your child’s enjoyment and variety of foods.

What are the symptoms of autism spectrum disorder and feeding difficulties?

Children with autistic spectrum disorder often show signs early on when solid foods are introduced. Symptoms that may lead to a suspicion of autism spectrum disorder with regards to feeding difficulties are:

If your child has one or more of these symptoms above you should seek further investigation. Sometimes your baby or child may be growing normally and not yet exerting signs of malnutrition so you can not get the help they need. Our team can help your baby with a diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder or not.

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Why do children with autism spectrum disorder have problems with feeding

Autism spectrum disorder is a condition which causes your baby or child to perceive and react differently to the world. Babies and children with autism spectrum disorder can be very sensory which can cause the baby or child to be sensitive to change and new foods. Without professional treatment from a multidisciplinary team children with autistic spectrum disorder and feeding difficulties can be very difficult to manage. If you child does not receive the adequate input behaviours can worsen leading to a severely restricted diet. Our dietitians can assess, diagnose and treat feeding difficulties to ensure your baby or child is receiving enough energy and nutrients to grow and develop to prevent further malnutrition, weight loss and inadequate growth.

What treatment can you provide for children with feeding concerns related to autism spectrum disorder?

There are many multidisciplinary interventions which we can provide for your baby or child to manage their feeding difficulties. We have a multidisciplinary team led by a dietitian, occupational therapist, physiotherapist and speech and language therapist who can provide an individualised treatment plan for your baby or child to overcome their feeding difficulties so they can reach their full growth and potential. If your child is also showing signs of malnutrition, feeding difficulties or feeding aversions our dietitians can can help. To book an assessment please contact us.

Make a referral

To refer a child to our services this can be done online, or by calling 0161 820 8262 or emailing office@kids

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