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Phenomenological examination of the mealtime experience for mothers of children with autism and food selectivity.

Authors
  • Suarez, Michelle A1
  • Atchison, Ben J2
  • Lagerwey, Mary3
  • 1 Michelle A. Suarez, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, College of Health and Human Services, Western Michigan University, 3405 CHHS, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5333; [email protected]
  • 2 Ben J. Atchison, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Occupational Therapy Department, College of Health and Human Services, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
  • 3 Mary Lagerwey, PhD, RN, is Professor, Bronson School of Nursing, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.
Type
Published Article
Journal
The American journal of occupational therapy : official publication of the American Occupational Therapy Association
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2014
Volume
68
Issue
1
Pages
102–107
Identifiers
DOI: 10.5014/ajot.2014.008748
PMID: 24367961
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Many children within the autism population also have food selectivity, and it is not clear how this comorbid difficulty affects the mealtime experience for families. The purpose of this qualitative interview study was to gain an understanding of the mealtime experience of mothers of children with autism and food selectivity. The transcribed interviews were analyzed using a phenomenological approach. Mothers in this study described mealtime as difficult and stressful. Reasons for mealtime stress included the child's self-restricted diet and difficulty sitting at the table. The mothers described attempts to improve mealtime but little success. Implications of the findings are discussed in the context of the literature.

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