autismmumsdads

Archive for the ‘Diet’ Category

Restriction and regression related to food is very common in those with Autism.

Heres my experience with A.

A, was given formula milk from the moment he was born, never really had any problems & the late night/early morning feeds where made easier as he enjoyed the milk at room temperature.

He was very content and this meant we only started to give him solids when he was 6 months old. It was a slow process finding foods A liked, or more so foods he would eat and not sick back up as soon as he swallowed – we found one, which was Mash, he ate it nearly every day – it differs as to whether he will even touch it now.

Hes been through lots of different phase, of loving certain foods, to clamping his mouth shut when we’ve offered them to him.

Ive spent hours and hours cooking loads of different foods just to have them thrown on the floor or left completely untouched – i used to get so upset thinking he was going hungry or just through sheer frustration that he wouldnt try anything new. He would gag on foods i tried him with once i managed to get it into his mouth.

He can now feed himself and prefers finger foods. I still every now and again if hes in a good mood try him with something new – needless to say he never entertains it! At home he struggles to use a spoon, preferring to scoop his food onto his tray with the spoon then picking it up with his fingers, whereas at nursery he is supposedly very good with a spoon. This is another topic we could go into, Generalising skills. Something a child does at home and be very good at may be something they wont even attempt elsewhere.

There have been many foods ive been told hes tried at nursery, from being told this ive gone straight to the supermarket and bought the same food and he hasnt touched it, for A, if it doesnt look the same he wont eat it, it has to be on the same plate, same table, in same place or for A, it isnt the same.

He enjoys his food cold, and will gag on warmer foods, or even foods that are most familiar with him. Ive come to realise its quite sensory related,

Chemical receptors in the tongue tell us about different tastes – sweet, sour, spicy and so on. People with an ASD may experience the following differences.

Hypo-Sensitive

  • Likes very spicy/hot foods.
  • Eat everything – such as mud, grass, Play-dough. This is known as Pica.

Hyper-Sensitive

  • Finds some flavours and foods too strong and overpowering because of very sensitive taste buds. – So have a very restricted diet.
  • Certain textures cause discomfort; some children will only eat smooth foods like mashed potatoes or ice-cream.

A, comes under both of these: he will eat everything, paper, couch stuffing, plastic, blu-tack, mud, sand, toys! & He has a very restricted diet which contains about 5 foods.

Diets and ASD children are very frustrating and hard work. I just let A eat what i know he will eat, even if it is near enough the same meal everyday – suppose i just dont want him to go hungry.

I would love you all reading this to share your experiences so people can see the differences/similarites in Autism & diets.

L x

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