ASD and Eating Challenges ~ It May Not Even Be About Food!

Here’s a common checklist for folks trying to figure out why eating is such a challenging issue for their child with ASD:

  • oral motor developmental delays

  • swallowing challenges

  • allergies/food intolerances

  • Sensory issues – smell. texture, taste, appearance (color, shape, plate placement)

After ruling out the above concerns or effectively dealing with them and your child is still only willing to eat a limited number of foods what is a parent to do?

Just a suggestion…………… look at the role that “ASD” itself might play.

  • Does your child like a structured environment?

  • Does your child learn and like routines?

  • Does your child like change/surprises?

  • Does your child struggle to gain needed control in their environment?

  • Does your child respond well to visual supports for communication and scheduling?

If you answered “yes” to any or all the questions above, then consider the role these needs would play at mealtime. This is a time that is often very different every meal and every day, the timing. Foods are different and most often a surprise. The people present and the social scene at the meal can easily be ever changing and a surprise!

So how can you address these issues so that your child will be eating healthier meals? The ultimate goal is for your child to be healthy and happy. You want to end those mealtime battles and have everyone enjoy a family meal.

These are the issues I looked at when developing The Eating Game for a little boy with ASD. It strives to meet the above five listed needs very often important to a child on the spectrum and I believe for many picky eaters not diagnosed as being on the spectrum.

In many ways it seems like such a simple solution but as is often the way………………..

SOLUTIONS ARE OFTEN VERY SIMPLE

AND

WE MISS THEM IN THE SEARCH!

Jean
Jean
Jean Nicol was a Special Education Teacher who after 10 years of retirement continues to be a very passionate autism advocate especially in the international autism community via social media. In 1970 Jean began her working career as a Home Economics Teacher after completing a BSc in Nutrition at St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Four years later she completed her BEd and began teaching elementary school where she quickly found her calling in Special Education and completed the Post Grad Special Education Program at Ottawa University. This was the beginning of a very rewarding 20 years in special education; with a desire to learn as much as she could about autism working with many children from preschool age to teenagers and young adults, as a teacher and community volunteer. Jean ended her working career as an Autism Consultant in the local public schools for 2 years. Then all of her education and work experience came together to keep her very busy in her retirement with her invention. During early retirement Jean worked part time as an Early Interventionist in a home visit play centered program for preschoolers with developmental delays. While doing this a friend asked for help in addressing the eating challenges of her six year old autistic son. Jean responded with enthusiasm and created what would become The Eating Game. This program was so successful Jean decided that her time would be well spent creating more of The Eating Game to help so many children with ASD who often deal with eating challenges. Her venture began with a small home business, EYECAN CREATIONS Jean Nicol was a Special Education Teacher who after 10 years of retirement continues to be a very passionate autism advocate especially in the international autism community via social media. In 1970 Jean began her working career as a Home Economics Teacher after completing a BSc in Nutrition at St Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia. Four years later she completed her BEd and began teaching elementary school where she quickly found her calling in Special Education and completed the Post Grad Special Education Program at Ottawa University. This was the beginning of a very rewarding 20 years in special education; with a desire to learn as much as she could about autism working with many children from preschool age to teenagers and young adults, as a teacher and community volunteer. Jean ended her working career as an Autism Consultant in the local public schools for 2 years. Then all of her education and work experience came together to keep her very busy in her retirement with her invention. During early retirement Jean worked part time as an Early Interventionist in a home visit play centered program for preschoolers with developmental delays. While doing this a friend asked for help in addressing the eating challenges of her six year old autistic son. Jean responded with enthusiasm and created what would become The Eating Game. This program was so successful Jean decided that her time would be well spent creating more of The Eating Game to help so many children with ASD who often deal with eating challenges. Her venture began with a small home business, EYECAN CREATIONS Publications and grew in seven years to now proudly display 2 Eating Game Patents, Canadian and American! Eating Game product development continues to play a role as Jean helps parents and children internationally. Every day is an adventure online meeting and helping friends in the global autism community with eating issues and many other concerns related to autism. Jean believes that key issues in helping children with autism relate to communication and social skill development. She is always ready to help parents work out ways to support their children, to give them “a voice” using visual supports, including social stories. Making a difference in the lives of children with autism and their families makes daily life worthwhile and very rewarding for Jean Nicol. The Eating Game website http://www.theeatinggame.ca/ Twitter https://twitter.com/TheEatingGame Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jean.nicol1 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/TheEatingGame Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/1/+JeanNicolTheEatingGame/posts LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeannicol Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/theeatinggame/ Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/jeannicol/

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