AARC Tip of the Month - August  2015

Eating Aversions

Often times people with autism have food aversions and/or can be very picky eaters.  Research has shown that kids with autism are five times more likely to have food selectivity issues.  Although research is still being conducted, many experts in the field believe that food aversions are linked to anxiety, ritualistic habits, and sensory issues.  Some pointers to remember when encouraging people with autism to eat various foods include the following:

TEXTURE:  It's important to pay attention to the texture of foods.  Many people on the spectrum have preferences for soft foods like pasta, rice, or yogurt.  Other people on the spectrum prefer crunchy foods like chips or crackers.

TEMPERATURE: There are some people on the spectrum who prefer food to be very hot, or that most meals are served warm, while others prefer to have cold meals a majority of the time.

OFFER CHOICES:  If the goal is to increase the food repertoire with a person with autism, it is important to offer lots of choices that are similar to what they might already enjoy.  If you notice that someone prefers white/soft foods like pasta, ramen, rice, or soggy cereal it may be worth trying to identify other foods that have similar textures or colors.  

Books of the Month:
The books of the month are  available in the SESA Library. You may search the library on the SESA website, or you may contact our Librarian, Anne Freitag, at afreitag@sesa.org or  907-334-1301

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Autism & PDD Concept Development : Food 
By: Pam Britton Reese, Nena C. Challenner
LinguiSystems, c2001. 
ISBN: 0760603898


Description: "Skill areas: concept development/language, ages: 3 thru 8, grades: preschool thru 3rd".




Can't Eat, Won't Eat : Dietary difficulties and autistic spectrum disorders 
By: Brenda Legge
Jessica Kingsley Publishers, c2002.
ISBN:  9781853029745


Contents: Dedication -- Acknowledgements -- 1. Beyond faddiness -- 2. Improvements and setbacks -- 3. I blame the parents -- 4. Throw out the rule book -- 5. Survey results -- 6. Hints and tips -- 7. More hints and tips -- 8. What we think of food -- 9. Social difficulties -- 10. Exclusion diets -- 11. Doctors and dentists -- 12. Professional advice -- 13. Great Ormond Street -- 14. Back to school -- 15. All food is good for you -- Epilogue -- References. 

Food Chaining [electronic resource] : The proven 6-step plan to stop picky eating, solve feeding problems, and expand your child's diet
By: Cheri Fraker ... [et al.]
Marlowe, c2007.
ISBN:  9781600940163 


Description: "Initially developed by co-author Cheri Fraker in the course of treating an eleven- year-old who ate nothing but peanut butter, bread, and milk, Food Chaining is a breakthrough approach for dealing with picky eating and feeding problems at any age. Food Chaining emphasizes the relationship between foods in regard to taste, temperature, and texture. In Food Chaining, the internationally known feeding team behind this unique method shows how to help your child enjoy new and nutritious foods, no matter what the nature of his picky eating. The guide also includes information on common food allergies, improving eating skills, advice specific to special needs kids, and a pre-chaining program to help prevent food aversions before they develop."--amazon.com

Also available in paperback


Just take a Bite: Easy, effective answers to food aversions and eating challenges!
By: Lori Ernsperger, Tania Stegen-Hanson
Foreword: Temple Grandin
Future Horizons, Inc., c2004.
ISBN:  1932565124

 Description: Provides a treatment plan for each distinct area of difficulty. It includes case studies and activities.