Sensory Sensitivity and Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

UMMS Affiliation

Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health; Department of Psychiatry; Department of Pediatrics

Publication Date


Document Type



Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition | Mental and Social Health | Pediatrics | Psychiatry and Psychology | Psychology


Few studies have compared atypical sensory characteristics and food selectivity between children with and without autism spectrum disorder (ASD). We compared oral sensory processing between children with (n = 53) and without ASD (n = 58), ages 3-11 years. We also examined the relationships between atypical oral sensory processing, food selectivity, and fruit/vegetable consumption in children with ASD. We found that more children with ASD presented with atypical sensory processing than children without ASD. Among children with ASD, those with atypical oral sensory sensitivity refused more foods and ate fewer vegetables than those with typical oral sensory sensitivity. The findings suggest that efforts to address food selectivity in children with ASD may be enhanced by including strategies that address oral sensory processing.


Autism spectrum disorder, Food selectivity, Sensory sensitivity

DOI of Published Version



Chistol LT, Bandini LG, Must A, Phillips S, Cermak SA, Curtin C. Sensory Sensitivity and Food Selectivity in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2018 Feb;48(2):583-591. doi: 10.1007/s10803-017-3340-9. PMID: 29116421; PMCID: PMC6215327. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of autism and developmental disorders

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID