“This study provided further evidence that these unusual feeding behaviors are the rule and not the exception for children with autism,” Penn State Children’s Hospital Keith Williams said in a statement.
Penn State psychiatry professor and lead researcher Susan Mayes noted such behaviors are common in 1-year-olds with autism and urges parents to talk to their child’s pediatrician about an autism screening.
Ultimately, the earlier autism is diagnosed, the sooner the family can consider beginning a treatment plan with a behavior analyst, she added. Research shows early treatment during preschool years can help children on the spectrum better understand necessary life skills.
According to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 in 59 children in the United States has autism. While more people than ever before are being diagnosed with ASD, "it is unclear how much of this increase is due to a broader definition of ASD and better efforts in diagnosis," the CDC notes.
There is no known cure for autism, but steady treatment is known to be helpful.
More ASD coverage from The AJC: