Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Committee Chair

Blackwell, Patsy Blaine


Autistic children; Children--Nutrition--Psychological aspects


Although not a criteria for diagnosis of autism, feeding difficulties are commonly found in this population. The purpose of this thesis is to provide further insight in the area of autism and feeding. Parents of children with and without autism were recruited from the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center and from their home. Participants were asked to complete a series of questionnaires regarding their child's eating habits. Results found parents of both groups indicated their child exhibits oral sensory processing differences, with the autism group indicating additional sensory differences across a range of categories. Results also found parents expressed concerns for their child's eating habits and appeared interested in seeking feeding therapy at some point in the future. Research in the area of autism and feeding is limited, although the prevalence of feeding difficulties in this population is high. This study was the first to compare feeding difficulties of children with autism to typically developing children with feeding problems. Further study in this area is imperative to help clinicians better understand and develop the most appropriate intervention for pediatric feeding difficulties.