Feeding and sensory processing in ASD children (Elsayed et al., 2022)
Purpose: Many studies have linked sensory sensitivities to feeding problems in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite the importance of sensory processing for a variety of mealtime and eating skills, the specific sensory processes that may impact feeding problems in children with ASD have not been comprehensively reviewed. Thus, the goal of this systematic review was to understand the associations between sensory processing and feeding difficulties in children with ASD.
Method: This systematic review was carried out according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. The PubMed, CINAHL Plus with Full Text (EBSCOhost), Scopus (Elsevier), and Embase (Elsevier) databases were searched from their dates of inception through the final search date of April 19, 2022, for English language studies that examined both sensory processing and feeding among children with ASD. Studies were assessed for quality using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools.
Results: A total of 27 studies were included. Findings supported the existence of a relationship between sensory processing and feeding problems in children with ASD. Specifically, studies reported that overall scores on sensory processing measures as well as measures of oral sensory processing were frequently associated with feeding problems.
Conclusions: This review supports the development of future feeding interventions focusing on sensory processing given the relationship between sensory processing and feeding problems among children with ASD. Future research should focus on utilizing consistent feeding assessments specific to children with ASD and collect information on medical diagnoses that can impact feeding in order to report on feeding more holistically in this population.
Supplemental Material S1. Search strategy.
Elsayed, H. E., Thompson, K. L., Conklin, J. L., & Watson, L. R. (2022). Systematic review of the relation between feeding problems and sensory processing in children with autism spectrum disorder. American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1044/2022_AJSLP-21-00401