HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

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Aspergers and Diet

Question

My son only wants specific foods. How do I ensure a healthy diet for him?

Answer

Children with Asperger’s commonly have difficulty when it comes to eating a variety of foods. Textures and smells play a part due to the sensory issues they experience. In addition, having too many choices goes against what is comfortable for these kids. Finding a balance will take work and special accommodation.

Kids with Asperger’s have sensory issues that may prevent him from registering the feelings of hunger. Therefore, you can’t rely on your child’s hunger to motivate him to eat. Eliminating the foods he loves will create a true battle.

When you begin your attempts to alter your child’s diet, do so quietly. The less fuss, the less likely it will become a bigger deal than it already is. And keep trying. Success may come slowly, but the ultimate goal is improving your child’s diet. Every little victory will bring you one step closer to the desired result.

The most common trick to entice your child with Asperger’s to eat is to change the presentation. Altering the form of a food may work. If your child likes the flavor of strawberries, for instance, but cannot handle the texture, you could toss them in the blender with some yogurt and try giving him a strawberry smoothie.

Another trick you can try is the element of disguise. Many vegetables can be pureed and added to favorites without changing the taste of the texture of the food. One example is adding pureed vegetables to meatloaf or spaghetti sauce. The taste is overpowered by the favored food and the puree blends in undetected. This is sneaky, but a great way to meet the goal of a healthy, balanced diet.

Finally, create a meal/snack routine or schedule. This will appeal to your child’s need for order and structure. Eventually you’ll be able to introduce new foods without being sneaky. He’ll know that mealtime is approaching and he will be expected to try the foods you have prepared.


3 comments >>

  1. Hi I have a daughter who has aspergers and she is 11 years old. I’m having problems with my in-laws who were brought up old school, spare the rod spoil the child kind of thing. They basically think when she has an outburst or problems with what is served for dinner then i should just spank her or punish her and it will get better. I have downloaded the grandparents guide to aspergers from the oasis website but they are still in the frame of mind that she can be punished out of her behaviors. Any ideas on how to communicate to them that is not the thing top do.

    Thanks Shannon

    Comment by shannon

  2. Parents of children with ASD’s who only eat specific brands of foods - you may want to think about making your own foods and putting them into containers from branded foods. That way you can change the content of the foods to add extra vitamins etc. This has worked very well with 3 of the families I work with - the parents made their own yoghurts, fish fingers, pizzas, waffles, sausages, burgers and put them into empty branded boxes and containers. The 3 children accepted these new foods without any problems. Its worth a try even though it takes a bit of work to prepare the food in advance and in secret.

    Comment by Wendy Goodbarn

  3. My son was the same way. I know my son worked well with a reward system so I integrated the two. Each day, or every other day I would introduce a new food. Let’s say avocado. I would have only two pieces the size of a dime for him to taste. I told him that he needed to try at least one piece and if he didn’t like it he didn’t have to eat the rest. He loves desserts. He helps me pick out an assortment at the grocery store. The reward he received for trying the new food was to pick out his favorite dessert to eat. After about a month of trying new things he picked up at least 5 new things that he liked that I could add to his diet.

    Comment by Shirleyanne


The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete
Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed
With Aspergers Syndrome.

3 comments:

konnie said...

Interesting post. I agree with you totally. On another aspect, my take is that asperger's syndrome during the early stages should be attended and no parent should ever forget that.

Anonymous said...

Marsha Wall Smith Fruitables juice boxes (fruit & veggie juices) Tastes great!!! Depending on age ... Pediasure
about an hour ago · Like
Vanessa Willis Google "food chaining" - it's working for us!

Anonymous said...

Tracy Fusco Thank you so much for posting this... i cant say i learned anything about getting my son to eat different things, but it led me to the site in general which is great! So many good articles :)
Yesterday at 10:05am · Like
Kristie Carr Nelson Bear Grylls on "Man vs. Wild" got my son to start trying new things. He loves nature and survival stuff. It's one of his "things." So when he started watching it and Bear was eating stuff to "survive," meals became a game of sorts trying out all sorts of weird stuff he just had to eat to survive. He can still be picky, and he doesn
20 hours ago · Like
Kristie Carr Nelson t like his foods touching, but he is eating many more diverse foods, even if we have to pretend it's a caught snake :)
20 hours ago · Like

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