Abstract and Keywords
Clinicians and researchers have long known that many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience challenges around eating (e.g., “picky eating”) that increase risk for negative health sequelae. Nevertheless, as reviewed in this chapter, progress in addressing these challenges has been hampered by disciplinary boundaries, lack of empirical scrutiny of existing interventions, and inconsistency in definition and assessment of eating-related issues. Recent work has begun to overcome these impasses through a greater focus on rigorous evaluation of currently available treatments and the meticulous development of novel and multidisciplinary intervention approaches. Yet, much more work is needed. In addition to the need for consensus on nomenclature and operationalized definitions that directly impact measure development, more work is needed to address the presence and impact of overweight/obesity among people with ASD. Only through cross-disciplinary and collaborative efforts between clinicians and researchers can these obstacles be overcome to improve the health, well-being, and quality of life of people with ASD.
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