In this article, Dr Elizabeth Shea, clinical psychologist from Birmingham Food Refusal Services provides her top 5 tips for autism professionals on the subject of eating issues and autism. Dr Shea has also written an article on ‘’understanding and managing eating issues on the autism spectrum’’ for Network autism.
Top 5 tips
1. Do allow the child to eat their preferred and safe foods; this will maintain weight and allow the child to meet their expected growth pattern.
2. Don’t hide or disguise new foods (including medicines) in the child’s familiar foods as this will ‘contaminate’ the liked food leading to its refusal.
3. Do work with the child’s sensory issues by helping them get used to the look, texture, smell and taste of new foods.
4. Don’t allow the child to go for long periods without eating or drinking as differences in appetite regulation mean they are at risk of dehydration or weight loss.
5. Do use relaxation techniques to reduce the child’s anxiety around new foods and eating situations.
These top 5 tips are meant only as a very general guide to what to think about. You can find further information on this subject below.
Author: Dr Elizabeth Shea
Date added: 21 March 2015