Capper Foundation sponsors annual autism event Friday in Topeka

Live at Five
Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 11:42 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Around 50 people -- including teachers, therapists, parents and other caregivers -- received tips on ways they can help improve the eating habits of children and youths with autism during an event held Friday in Topeka.

Several workshops were offered during the 2022 Autism Summit, which was held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday in a meeting room at the Bartlett & West engineering firm, 1200 S.W. Executive Drive.

The event, which was sponsored by the Topeka-based Capper Foundation, focused on issues related to feeding challenges among children and young people with autism.

Sandy Crawford, vice president of pediatric services at the Topeka-based Capper Foundation, said about 80 percent of children and youths with autism have an eating disorder that may be related to a past experience with food; the texture, taste or smell of a food item; or even the brand of a particular food.

Workshop topics addressed some of the challenges facing those caring for children and young people with feeding difficulties.

Workshop topics included “Practical Strategies for Picky Eaters and Bringing Joy Back to Meal Time”; “The Role of Nutrition in Feeding Kids with Autism”; and “Organizing Mealtime and Addressing Interfering Behavior.”

Capper officials said feeding difficulties are common in children with disabilities, including autism. They added that the difficulties can affect a family’s health and relationships.

Friday’s event also provided information about proper nutrition and effective ways to increase a child’s interactions with a variety of foods.

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