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“Innovation of Food Technology as Import Substitution”: Dietary Recommendation for Normal and Autistic Children in Indonesia

                                  by Maria Prihtamala Omega

There are differences among normal and autistic children in their ability to understand complex ideas, to adapt to the environment, to learn from experiences, to engage in various reasons, to overcome obstacles by taking thoughts and solutions. Therefore, the child’s intellectual performance is various depending on different occasions and criteria. For example, intelligence is attempts to organize the complex set of phenomena and systems of abilities which can be captured by standard psychometric tests (Neisser, et al., 1996). The psychometric approaches include the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (a childhood verbal intelligence) and Raven’s Progressive Matrices (a non-verbal inductive reasoning about perceptual patterns). Another psychometric analysis of Halstead-Reitan Categories test (a non-verbal abstract thinking ability) and Wechsler Memory Test used by Goodwin, et al. (1983) to analyze the worse scores of the result tests, due to depressed cognitive function caused by malnutrition and reduced nutrient intake of vitamin C, vitamin B12, riboflavin or folic acid. Moreover, inadequate childhood nutrition (low protein and high carbohydrate intakes) during brain development can have a strongly negative impact on long-term outcomes, such as decreased number of brain cells, deficits in behavior, learning and memory, lower verbal IQ at school age, higher incidence of frank cognitive and neuromotor impairment, developments of obesity, insulin resistance, hypercholesterolemia, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes (Hay, et al., 1999).  Others emphasize on the primary roles of nature (inheritance of intelligence genes) and secondary roles of nurture (cultures, environments and nutrition influencing the acquisition of intellectual skills).

Therefore, the diet factor (nutritional needs) must be met by intake from the environment codified for Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) in America (Figure 1), Dietary Standards for Canada, Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) in Indonesia/other countries for safe intakes recommended by WHO (Williams-Hooker, 2013) as well as five main food groups in Australia such as fruit, vegetable, dairy, meat and meat alternatives, and cereals (Australian National Children’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, 2007).


Figure 1. 5-8 Year Olds Nutrition