Purpose: Occupational therapists (OTs) handle children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and a common concern is how their sensory processing issues affect their feeding habits. There is limited information regarding interventions about this issue both locally and internationally. This study aims to know the experiences of OTs providing feeding interventions associated with sensory issues for children with ASD. It will also describe what approaches they used for these interventions. Method: Qualitative phenomenology using in-depth interviews with nine OTs in Cebu, Philippines was conducted, and data underwent thematic analysis. Results: Five themes emerged: 1) a family that feeds together, stays together, 2) key to mealtime challenges, 3) root of mealtime challenges, 4) highs and lows of a therapist on feeding interventions, and 5) teletherapy as a sign of times. Conclusion: OTs and parents look at foundational skill deficits of a child with ASD and relate the said skill deficits to mealtime behaviors and challenges. Results provided in-depth description of what current intervention approaches the selected therapists choose and how they are applied and combined in targeting feeding concerns and sensory issues that relate to feeding. Handling feeding issues is also an opportunity for OTs to work with other healthcare professionals.
The authors would like to thank the OTs in Dynamics Pediatric Therapy & Associates, Fundamental Pediatric Therapy Center and GOAL Pediatric and Adult Therapy Center.
Barrientos BV, Badajos AT, Bucog EM, Mauro RC, Bulan PP. Mealtime Experiences of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder from the Perspectives of Filipino Occupational Therapists in Cebu: Implications for Practice. The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice. 2023 Jan 04;21(1), Article 2.