The Disorders care is a researched-based small group that is dedicated to providing the necessary information relating to disorders for parents and guardians of challenged kids so that not only they can timely identify the disorder and but also so that they can take better care of their children.
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a complex developmental and neurological condition that typically appears during the first three years of life. It affects brain function, particularly in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Classic symptoms include delayed talking, lack of interest in playing with other children, not wanting to be held or cuddled and poor eye contact. There is no known cause for ASD, but both genetics and environment are believed to play a role.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 1 in every 54 American children has been identified with ASD. It is about four times more common in boys than in girls.
People with ASD often may repeat behaviors or have narrow, restricted interests. These types of behavior can affect eating habits and food choices, which can lead to the following health concerns.
Limited food selection or strong food dislikes. Someone with autism may be sensitive to the taste, smell, color, and texture of foods. They may limit or totally avoid some foods and even whole food groups. Dislikes may include strong-flavored foods, fruits, and vegetables or certain textures such as slippery or soft foods.
Not eating enough food. Kids with autism may have difficulty focusing on one task for an extended period of time. It may be hard for a child to sit down and eat a meal from start to finish.
Constipation. This problem may be caused by a child’s limited food choices, low physical activity levels, or medications. It typically can be remedied by gradually increasing sources of dietary fiber, such as bran cereals and fruits and vegetables, along with plenty of fluids and regular physical activity.
Medication interactions. Some stimulant medications used with autism can lower appetite. This can reduce the amount of food a child eats, which may affect growth. Other medications may increase appetite or affect the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. If your child takes medication, ask your healthcare provider about possible side effects.
Caring for a child with ASD can be challenging on many levels, and healthful eating is no exception. For children with ASD, a nutritious, balanced eating plan can make a world of difference in their ability to learn, how they manage their emotions and how they process information. Because children with ASD often avoid certain foods or have restrictions on what they eat, as well as difficulty sitting through mealtimes, they may not be getting all the nutrients they need.
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