#Autism, #SPD and Mealtime Difficulties



Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of parenting a child with Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder, at least for me, is feeding them. 

While Gavin was absolutely impossible to feed when he was younger, he’s no longer a picky eater and is quite easy to feed and prepare food for. 

My other two, Elliott and Emmett are very difficult to feed at mealtimes. 

In Elliott’s case, he’s always finding something wrong with the way things tastes.  There doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason either.  Seemingly out of nowhere, something he’s eaten for a very long time, will begin to taste funny.  He will literally go hungry before eats something that he feels tastes funny.



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Unfortunately, for him, with a recent diagnosis of allergies to treenuts, his options are limited. Often times, I think he’s actually afraid to eat for fear of having a reaction.

Over time, this has only gotten worse for him and us. 



Emmett is hands down the most challenging to feed.  Not only is he sensitive to taste, but also sensitive to color, smell and appearance.

With Emmett, typically I have to remake whatever I make for him to eat. 

Everything has to look the same.  For example, if he’s having chicken nuggets, the breading, color, shape and size must be uniform or he won’t touch anything.  We also can’t have his food touching anything else on the plate. 

If he’s eating pizza, the slice has to be either a clean cut square or triangle. The triangle has to be pointy or its considered broken and a meltdown is produced. 

There are only a handful of things that will please everyone.  Pizza is one of those things, although lately, Elliott will only eat certain pizza because he tastes the changes in recipes and will no longer eat it. 
As the cook in the house, it not uncommon for me to cook 3 different meals, for each meal.  I will also likely have to remake something, at least once (usually for Emmett).

Unlike Gavin, who did better as he got older, the other boys seem to be getting more challenging as time goes on.

Hopefully, things will ease up in the future because unfortunately, right now, way to much food is wasted.
What’s your experience with this type of sensory/food issues? Do you have a goto food that works in a pinch? Have you noticed things getting better or worse with time?

Do have problems getting people to understand and support your child’s sensitivity to things like food?


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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)

  

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AMDuser
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AMDuser

My friends think I am weird sometimes because I don’t like Macncheese because of the texture and another common issues sometimes is issues with milk because for me the flavor is different from company to company also another factor is when the Milk providers change the feed that they give there Cows. When that happens I eaither only use it with Ceral one that changes the flavor or use chocolate milk mix enough to get rid of the taste of the milk.

lostandtired
Guest

AMDuser that’s really interesting because Elliott is the same way.

James
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James

My little sister used to be just like that with her Mac and cheese! She would eat plain Mac with maybe a pinck of salt or butter, but something about the cheese just really bothered her

JenniferWhynott
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JenniferWhynott

I totally understand you Rob! My oldest did not eat meat of any kind until she was 8 now she eats chicken, some fish and beef and she is 12. My Dx’d aspie kiddo eats about 12 foods and she has the same issues with taste and look. By golly George I hate it when they change recipes in our store bought foods. My last 2 kiddos will eat a pretty balanced diet if I try really hard. Most days though by dinner I am too tired to try harder. For breakfast they each have like French toast, waffles, or… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

JenniferWhynott wow.  That is exactly the same with us and noodles.  The things so many take for granted.  🙂

lostandtired
Guest

Test

biolagaga
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biolagaga

My mom goes nuts because i will obsessively eat one thing, and then i will refuse to eat it again in a year. Now as I am on lowcarb I am ONLY eating bbq ribs. expensive in norway…

lostandtired
Guest

@biolagaga thank you for sharing.  For the record, BBQRibs are expected site anywhere.  🙂 Have a great day

Aspie Writer
Guest

Yes! This is something I talk about extensively in my book.  It does not get better or worse with time, just different.  Their meal preferences change–MY meal preferences change and are very much controlled by sensitivies, both to taste, smell, and yes, even how things look.  It is especially bad if something “feels” wrong in my mouth, brings on an immediate gag reflex. Half the time, I eat something different than everyone else in my house, and almost every night all three boys each something different from one another.  A lot of work, but absolutely necessary.

rmagliozzi
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rmagliozzi

My youngest was like Gavin but now is alot easier. He still can’t eat veggies due to texture issues, so he has to drink them in a smoothie. The GFCF diet and food allergies forced him to start trying new foods, so it was all a blessing in disguise. The youngest was a very weak eater until we realized he had hypothyroidism and a little bit too much inflammation in his body. He is slowly regaining his appetite and starting to fill out now that he’s started a low dose of thyroid medication.

rmagliozzi
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rmagliozzi

I meant my oldest was like Gavin. Youngest has the thyroid issues.

Adult Aspie SPD
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Adult Aspie SPD

Rob, I can identify with your posts so intensely. I’m an adult Asperger’s and SPD picky eater. I was always “picky” and to this day my Mum tells me about how I absolutely refused to eat when I was a toddler qhen something repulsed me (that only a week before had been fine). Pizzas with perfdct triangle shapes, pizza squares with perfect square shapes, pasta sauce that can’t be too lumpy or too runny, pasta that all tastes different, chicken nuggets that can’t have any chewy bits in them, breading and shapes must all be the same, my food absolutely… Read more »

lostandtired
Guest

@Adult Aspie SPD  thank you so much for sharing so honestly. I’m so grateful for your support. 🙂