Food can be a very big issue for children with ASD and it can become very stressful for parents trying to get their child to eat. It is one of the first things parents ask for advice on. Often I have come across children only wanting to eat foods of a certain colour or smell. It is very difficult for parents as they want their children to eat properly.
This story looks at trying new food without pressure in the hope that curiosity will take over and the child will choose to try it him or herself. Many children with ASD have sensory difficulties – this means that ordinary sights, smells, tastes and touches which most people would not even think about can actually be very painful for the child.
Playing games to get used to new tastes
Through food games I believe the pressure to eat is taken away and the child gets used to being around different foods and the distraction of the games takes their mind off everything else.
In all the stories I really emphasise the importance of the visual day plan and the FIRST and THEN chart. It is a crucial part of teaching and encouraging your child to complete and be successful in tasks. I find it an invaluable tool in my teaching of children with ASD.
Have you found that particular foods are avoided by your child? What challenges have you faced around eating and cooking? Your ideas and questions are welcome.