A Comparative Analysis of Chewing Function and Feeding Behaviors in Children with Autism


DYSPHAGIA, vol.36, no.6, pp.993-998, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00455-020-10228-6
  • Journal Name: DYSPHAGIA
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, CINAHL, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.993-998
  • Keywords: Deglutition, Deglutition disorders, Autism, Chewing, Feeding behaviors, Parental concern, SPECTRUM DISORDERS, YOUNG-CHILDREN, DIFFICULTIES, MEALTIME, INTERVENTIONS, CHALLENGES, STRESS
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


The present study was aimed to compare chewing performance level and feeding behaviors of children with autism to their typically developing peers. A total of 56 children (37 children with autism, 19 typically developing children) participated in the study. Feeding-related characteristics and observational oral-motor characteristics of children were recorded. The Karaduman Chewing Performance Scale (KCPS) was used to assess chewing performance level, the Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) was used to assess feeding behaviors of children, and the Turkish version of the Feeding/Swallowing Impact Survey (T-FS-IS) was used to evaluate the effect of the child's feeding and swallowing problem on their parents. Results showed that transition time to solid food intake for children with autism was later than typically developing children (p = 0.014), and they had more tongue thrusting (p = 0.009). There were differences between groups in terms of KCPS (p = 0.002), BPFAS (Total frequency score, p = 0.008; Child frequency score, p = 0.017; Parent frequency score, p = 0.021; Restriction score, p = 0.004), and T-FS-IS (Daily activities, p = 0.004; Worry, p = 009; Feeding difficulties, p = 0.031; Total score, p = 0.001). The present study shows that children with autism had worse chewing function and worse mealtime functioning compared to typically developing children. Their parents perceived mealtime behavior as more problematic, and parents' quality of life related to feeding/swallowing disorders was worse compared to parents of typically developing children. The study results reveal the importance of early assessment and intervention of chewing function and feeding behaviors in children with autism.