Maybe it is a change in the brand of Cheerios because the favored brand was out of stock. Perhaps it is a change in the route you drive to school, due to an unexpected detour. Possibly the cause of a meltdown is that you cannot go to the library today, as you do every Saturday, because you are very ill.
Conceivably this could be the reason for the battles you wage a mealtime because what you have prepared is not the food your child wants to eat today. If you think about it mealtime is an ever changing environment, as most of us don’t like to eat the same limited number of foods day in and day out. In our busy day we are not likely to be preparing all family members for what we are having for supper. Yet this is perhaps what has to happen for some children to be able to cope.
Watching many children with ASD I have noted, as we all should, that each one is unique. Although no two are the same they do frequently share some common characteristics and needs in order to be the best that they can be in an every changing environment, that is for the most part out of their control. My observations over the past 30 years have been that many children on the spectrum need a structured, routine environment; one where they have the best chance of knowing what is coming next. Fortunately there are ways, strategies we can put in place to create such an environment, within our own, to satisfy these needs.(use of visual supports and social stories)
So that is why I created The Eating Game. It can be a structured, daily routine that your child, with your direction, can use to create a visual meal plan every day. They make the choices for meals and snacks (based on food pictures you present). They are in control and have created a very predictable meal plan. Their existing plan of self restricting their diet to be in control is no longer necessary. It will now be easier to introduce new foods, likely many will be a reintroduction of foods they used to eat. Since foods being served have not created a challenge it may now be easier for your child to deal with the social demands of your family meals, also very unpredictable.
The Eating Game has made a major difference in the lives of many children and their families. It may well be the solution you need! It is available in English and French, as a complete kit, a Make It Yourself Kit and as a downloadable, printable edition at www.theeatinggame.ca