First things first:
They acknowledged some limitations of the study, including the diagnosis of ASDs by clinical teams instead of structured research assessments, and the use of data reported by mothers without validation.
But they found that kids with autism (sample of 72) studied, in comparison with 12,901 children without autism:
- Were more likely to be slow eaters by 6 months, and also accepted solid foods later in the first year
- From 15 months on were more likely to be called very difficult to feed and very choosy and had less varied diets
- Still managed to intake similar amounts of energy and grow normally
"A clinical implication of these findings is that the possibility of an ASD should be considered for young children who present with feeding problems, pervasive food refusal, and limited food preferences, and appropriate questions should be asked about the child's social communication, shared attention, and stereotypic and self-stimulatory behaviors."
"Although many parents of children with ASDs do try special diets for their children, a recent update of a Cochrane review on gluten- and casein-free diets in children with ASDs concluded that the evidence for the efficacy of these diets remains poor," Golding and colleagues noted in their paper.