Feeding Difficulties Among Children With Special Needs: A Cross-Sectional Study From India

OTJR (Thorofare N J). 2023 Oct;43(4):592-599. doi: 10.1177/15394492221130971. Epub 2022 Nov 14.


Deficits in feeding can lead to impairments in occupational performance for children with special needs. This correlational study assessed the relationship between oromotor deficits, behavior problems related to feeding, and caregiver perception of the behavior in children with special needs. We included children with neurodevelopmental disorders (n=79), between 2 and 12 years of chronological age, and their caregivers. Those fulfilling the selection criteria were administered the Behavioral Pediatric Feeding Assessment Scale (BPFAS) and Schedule for Oromotor Assessment (SOMA). More than half the sample had skill deficits and behavioral problems related to feeding. There was a statistically significant correlation of oromotor deficits with specific food consistencies and feeding-related behavior problems. Children with special needs have impaired participation in feeding. Deficits at the body system level are associated with parental and cultural factors, which would have to be mitigated to optimize performance.

Keywords: activities of daily living; autism; cerebral palsy; children; occupational therapy.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disabled Children*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Humans
  • India
  • Parents