Introduction: Sensory processing disorders are prevalent among children with intellectual developmental deficits and negatively impact their daily routines. Eating, which is a major part of daily routines, is known to be frequently impaired among children with intellectual developmental deficits. This study aimed to examine the relationships between sensory processing disorders and eating problems in children with different levels of intellectual developmental deficit. Method: Participants were 91 children aged 4 to 9 years: 25 with mild intellectual developmental deficits, 32 with moderate intellectual developmental deficits and 34 with severe/profound intellectual developmental deficits. All participants were recruited from special education kindergartens/schools for children with intellectual developmental deficits. Participants' primary caregiver in school completed the screening tool of eating problems and the short sensory profile. Findings: Significant correlations between sensory processing disorders and eating problems were found in each intellectual developmental deficit level (r=-.40, p≤.05 to r=-.57, p≤.001), but most correlations were found among children with moderate and severe/profound level. Energy level significantly predicted aspiration frequency; smell/taste sensitivity significantly predicted food selectivity and food refusal frequency. Conclusion: Eating problems should be screened among children with intellectual developmental deficits according to intellectual developmental deficit severity and other related factors such as sensory processing disorders. Applying this approach in occupational therapy intervention may contribute to a child's adaptive behaviour and performance in daily routines.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.
- Activities of daily living
- Intellectual developmental deficit
- Sensory processing disorder
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Occupational Therapy