THE SUCCESS IS NO SURPRISE

The inventor and the inspiring child using The Eating Game

The inventor and the inspiring child using The Eating Game

The inspiration was a seven year old boy with autism who like about 75% of his peers with ASD had significant issues with eating. As needed we ruled out food allergies and intolerances. It seemed that even though by times he would gag and/or vomit, there was no physical impediment causing this. It was often thought because of his choices that sensory needs might be at play but when we looked at all the foods he had eaten in his lifetime we realized this was not the case.

 

We knew that like many others structure, routine and visual supports were very beneficial. We wanted to create something that would be simple for everyone to use.

So after much observation we had developed a program he called a “game” because it is fun and “game” could be an acronym for get awesome meals everyday!

It was designed to meet his needs providing structure, visual supports, mealtime predictability all in his control as he chose the healthy foods for meals and snacks. We came to understand that he limited his list of preferred foods so that he would always know what he was having. After a period of time he might change the list but it was still limited to allow him to feel in control and know what he would be eating.

As we know many on the spectrum prefer a more predictable environment than one of many surprises where they don’t feel in control. Mealtime would be no exception and faced 3 – 6 times a day could become quite a challenge and a battle parents don’t want to fight..

He was soon using it independently every day as part of his bedtime snack routine. In 15 months he was eating 200+ new foods and after 4 years and eating pretty much everything he still liked to use it for control and predictability. It was certainly a success and went on to be so for many others.

Because the parent chooses the foods to present for the days’ planning this is a program that will support any already established special diets.

Foods the child chooses from those presented by parents stick to a reusable daily planning chart based on age recommendations.

Foods the child chooses from those presented by parents stick to a reusable daily planning chart based on age recommendations.

It is no surprise that The Eating Game is now a patented invention helping many more children on the spectrum around the globe. The inventor dedicates her time to The Eating Game and helping kids and families with the tremendous needs faced as a daily challenge of wanting to provide the best for your child. Feel free to contact her via jean@theeatinggame.ca  with any questions you might have or adaptations that may be necessary.

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/

2 Comments

  1. Sandra says:

    I’m just about to give up on my 9 soon to be 10 year old son and his picky eating. I don’t know whether to just put the food that we all eat in front of him and let him decide if he is hungry enough or let him get so hungry that anything will look good and provide no other options. He has been pretty picky from the start. and had verbal apraxia and sensory processing disorder. I thought that maybe he would outgrow this, like some other symptoms with help from his speech and OT, but this one is still challenging for all of us. Someone is going to have to convince me pretty heavily that this method could work for him. I’ve tried other methods and he is at the point where he is trying some things that our new, but nothing really is sticking. Please help. I get so concerned for his health and well being, now and in his future. Thank you.

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