Who can help?
In addition to the child’s pediatrician, various studies have shown behavioural interventions have been successful when used in conjunction with an interdisciplinary team of professionals (Greer, Gulotta, Masler, & Laud, 2008). The following is a list of professionals that can contribute to the creation of a treatment plan for problem feeding behaviours in children with ASD and/or DD.
Interdisciplinary team members and roles:
- Pediatrician: Rule out medical conditions that may be contributing to the problem feeding behaviour(s)
- Dietitian: Assess nutritional needs and provide recommendations on dietary needs
- Speech Language Pathologist: Assess feeding and swallowing skills and provide recommendations on activities related to a child’s functioning level
- Occupational Therapist: Assess environment, fine motor and sensory processing skills and provide recommendations on environmental changes and/or sensory preferences of the child
- Behavioral Analyst: Assess* functions of problem feeding behaviour(s) and develop a treatment program to increase positive meal time behaviours and decrease problem feeding behaviour(s)
*To learn more about the functions of behaviour, please look at Module 3 of the Challenging Behaviours section.
If I don’t have help right now, what can I do?
If you do not have access to professionals who can help right now, please visit our section on Helpful Tips for Mealtime. Remember that the effectiveness of each tip will depend upon the specific mealtime problem behaviour being targeted and although these suggestions may help in alleviating some of the issues families are facing surrounding mealtimes, they are not guaranteed to decrease or eliminate the problem feeding behaviour you are facing.