Nutrition Therapies for Children with Developmental Disabilities

Developmental disabilities (DD) are a group of conditions resulting in physical, intellectual, and behavioral impairments. These conditions occur during early development, are usually attained by the age of 22 years old, and continue throughout a person’s lifetime. Nutrition plays a vital role in children with DD, specifically those with cerebral palsy (CP), spina bifida, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), Down syndrome (DS), Rett syndrome, Prader–Willi syndrome (PWS), and seizure disorders. This entry reviews growth, diet, and feeding problems and explores nutritional therapies for individuals with DD.


Growth is determined by genetics and can be influenced by biological and environmental factors such as disease and diet. Growth is the outcome measure for assessing all nutritional interventions. Children with DD have altered growth, including underweight, overweight, and short stature. ...

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