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
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
WE MISS THEM IN THE SEARCH!