Guided eating or feeding: three girls with Rett syndrome
AbstractRett syndrome (RTT) considerably limits participation in daily activities but food and mealtimes are most often motivating activities for persons with RTT. The aim of this study was to investigate whether there is a difference in participation during meals when the persons eating do so through guided eating compared with being fed.Three girls with classic RTT participated in a study inspired by single-subject design. Investigation was performed during two meals at which the girls were fed and during a seven- to eight-week period when guided eating took place. Video analysis and registration forms were used, investigating (1) coordination between opening of the mouth and spoon movement, (2) signs of involvement during the meal, and (3) cooperation in arm movements during guided eating. Guided eating led to improved coordination between opening of the mouth and spoon movement, resulting in opening of the mouth before the spoon arrived, for all of the girls. Signs of involvement changed in two of the girls. According to the guiders, they were able to feel cooperation in arm movements during the different food intake sequences in all three girls. These results indicate that guided eating improved involvement and participation in the eating process in these girls.