Assessment of feeding and mealtime behavior problems in persons with mental retardation

David E. Kuhn, Louisiana State University, USA.
Johnny L. Matson


Feeding and mealtime behavior problems are commonly observed among individuals with developmental disabilities. These problems include, but are not limited to, food refusal, food selectivity, mealtime aggression, rumination, pica, and insufficient feeding skills. Difficulties of this type can be associated with life-threatening consequences of other serious health-related problems. Because of the nature of these problems and the lack or accurate client self-reporting, an interdisciplinary assessment in addition to a thorough behavioral assessment is recommended to ensure the best quality of care. This article discusses the role of the various disciplines, and the types of behavioral assessments that are currently being utilized by clinicians and researchers.