Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W26
CE Offered: BACB
Assessment and Treatment of Feeding Problems in Children with Autism.
Friday, May 23, 2008
6:00 PM–9:00 PM
Area: AUT; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: John D. Molteni, Ph.D.
JOHN D. MOLTENI (The Center for Children with Special Needs), KRISTEN POWERS (The Center for Children with Special Needs), MARK J. PALMIERI (The Center for Children with Special Needs)
Description: Parents and caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorders often report feeding difficulties (Ahearn, Castine, Nault, & Green, 2001). DeMeyer (1979) notes the prevalence of feeding difficulties as reported by the parents of children with autism spectrum disorders at 94% as compared with 59% for typically developing preschoolers. Ahearn et al. (2001) reported aberrant feeding behaviors, including restrictive food selectivity, liquid refusal and unusual mealtime behaviors. There have been careful analyses of mealtime behavior to examine the function that these behaviors may serve the child in avoidance of mealtime opportunities (Munk & Repp, 1994; Piazza et al., 2003). The impact of oral-motor skill deficits on adequate nutrition is also a concern for children who present with feeding difficulties (Collins et al., 2003), although this is not as well described in the available literature. Given the combination of behavioral and oral-motor challenges faced by children with autism, families and caregivers face special difficulties in their attempts to provide typical experiences around mealtimes. A model for a community based treatment to address behavioral and oral-motor components of feeding with components of direct intervention and parent training will be discussed with activities to include attendees engaging in didactic and hands-on activities related to feeding interventions.
Learning Objectives: Participants will be able to identify: 1. Behavioral and oral motor components of feeding 2. Challenges involved in feeding with children with autism 3. Assessment procedures for identifying behavioral and oral motor aspects of feeding 4. Intervention procedures for addressing feeding problems 5. Social validity assessment procedures for community based interventions. Participants will demonstrate: 1. Ability to execute behavioral assessments of feeding (e.g., functional assessment, preference assessment) 2. Appropriate food selection and/or utensil selection to address feeding problems 3. Data collection procedures for monitoring progress of feeding interventions
Activities: Lecture Video examples Vignettes Data collection Case discussion Modeling
Audience: Behavior Analysts Psychologists Occupational Therapists Speech Pathologists Other community based practitioners
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate



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