Nutritional Challenge in Autistic Children in Saudi Arabia: A Systematic Literature Review

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Razan Alarnous, Samar Alshawwa , Aida Albasalah


Autism is a set of diverse neuro-developmental conditions characterised by impaired learning ability, aggressive behaviour and abnormal social interactions which is attributed to genetic and environmental factors. The study aims to discuss the nutritional food challenges facing autistic patients, and how their mothers can handle and solve the issue. Relevant studies were selected for this study haven met our inclusion criteria. A total of 1354 studies were initially identified from Pubmed, Scopus, ScienceDirect and Google Scholar. After the removal of duplicates and studies not written in Arabic or English, 613 articles were left. 171 papers were selected for full text eligibility after titles and abstracts screening. 9 studies were included in the review after full text screening. The symptoms and behavioral expression of ASD are noticeable as the child exhibit characteristics that are common with the disorder. The severity of symptoms differs and changes with the growth of the child. Challenges faced by mothers in handling ASD children include new co-morbidities and the child’s increased levels of emotional or behavioral symptoms and the unpredictability of the behavioral and emotional challenge that ASD children presents.

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