The Effect of Oral Motor Therapy on Feeding Difficulties and Eating Behaviors in Younger ASD Children
Author(s): Heena Khan*
Background: A variety of feeding difficulties like aversion of food, food selectivity, complete food refusal are the most common problems reported by the Parents of ASD children. Every parent of ASD children struggles to manage their child’s feeding routine as well as undesirable mealtime behaviours, which can cause parental concern and poor family dynamics.
Aim: The aim of this study is to analyze the effect of dedicated oral motor work in children with ASD who presented with feeding difficulties. To determine parental concerns related to feeding behavior shown by their child and assess whether an additional home program in parallel with oral motor work by an Occupational Therapist would provide any be?nifits.
Method: This is a pre and post study where a total number of 18 ASD children at the age of 2-4 year old were participated and selected through BPFAS, out of which 15 copies were considered to be concerned with the oral motor and feeding difficulties of the child. Therefore, 15 participants who were facing feeding difficulties with their children were recruited. Concerned Participants were further assessed by Occupational therapist with the help of ‘The com deall Oro-motor assessment scale for toddlers’.
Result: According to The Com Deall Oral-motor assessment scale, some changes observed in the oral motor skills and when parental concern is considered via home plan including mealtime strategies with oral motor activities, the post intervention result showed decrease in Total problem score as well as in Total frequency score.
Conclusion: The study concluded that continuous structured direct oral motor work as well as addressing parental concerns via home programs is helpful for the ASD children and gives better understanding of feeding difficulties to their parents. Also, some changes have been seen in oral motor skills through continuous practice of oral motor activities by the therapist