“Yuck, what’s that?”, “I don’t like this”,
“I don’t want to eat that”, “No, it’s yucky!!”
Do these mealtime’s phrases sound all too familiar to you, Mommies and Daddies?
Children’s eating habits may be irregular and even puzzling at times.
Some children are doing pretty well at trying new foods, have a varied diet and don’t seem to be very fussy when it comes to eating.
Other children, however, display some food selectivity. For instance, they won’t eat any fruit.
But for some children, the food selectivity may be so extreme that parents start to worry about the possible consequences of such restricted diet on the children’s health.
Scientific studies highlight the fact that feeding difficulties affect 25% of typically developing children; those children are still less affected than children with developmental impairments (Casey et al., 2008).
Indeed, an average of 39% of children with developmental disabilities shows evidence of feeding difficulties (Linscheid, 2006).
More specifically, 72% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder display a low level of food consumption (Schreck et al., 2004), and more than 10% of them exhibit total food refusal (Ahearn et al., 2001).
The Food Programme at Wee Care is designed to help resistant eaters whether they are typically developing or Special Needs children to increase their food intake. The programme will require close cooperation with the children’s parents and is subject to frequent updates based on the children’s progress.
The concept is to use a highly individualised desensitization approach using specific Applied Behaviour Analysis techniques within an ethical frame. Ruling out medical condition(s) as the reason for food selectivity, compliance, imitation skills and minimum levels of challenging behaviours are prerequisites to start the Food Programme.
If you are interested in Wee Care’s Food Programme for your child and want to learn more about it, come for a “get-to-know-you” meeting.To schedule an appointment, please contact our Admin Manager at the following email address: enquiries @weecare.com.sg
Ahearn, W. H., Castine, T., Nault, K., & Green, G. (2001). An assessment of food acceptance in children with autism or pervasive developmental disorder – not otherwise specified. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 31, 505-512.
Casey, S. D., Perrin, C. J., Merical, C. L., Lecomte, J. M., Milligan, J., & Walsh-Czekalski, M. (2008). Increasing bite acceptance and reducing food refusal in a child with autism: moving beyond the clinic. Journal of Behavior Analysis in Health, Sports, Fitness and Medicine. Vol 1, No 1, 34-44.
Linscheid, T. R. (2006). Behavioral treatments for pediatric feeding disorders. Behavior Modification, 30, 6-23.
Schreck, K. A., Williams, K., & Smith, A. F. (2004). A comparison of eating behaviors between children with and without autism. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 433-438.