How to get an Autistic Child to Eat

I found this story written by Lisa Ackerman. We are facing the same problems and I feel that we have to do something.  We are considering the Paleo diet or reinstating the GF diet.  But seriously, how do you get a kid to eat. More to come on this but here is the link and a snippet to her post.

http://www.autismndi.com/news/display.asp?content=Resources&shownews=20040729000649

Picky Kids, Eating, And Autism

Getting healthy nutrition in the bellies of babes is often the discussion, angst, and battle for many parents. Ask the parent with an autistic or special needs child about nutrition and their child and the response of groans of desperation and exasperation often prevail. Good nutrition and autism children rarely go hand in hand. Often, parents give up and pick their battles elsewhere.

1) You eat the food next to the child and comment “this ___ is yummy.” (It was important to make sure you had his attention and observed you eating the new food.)

2) A friend of the child or a highly reinforcing person eats the food next to the child comments “this ___ is yummy.” (Again, it is important to gain attention on this step and all others.)

3) In home therapy time, school, and down time, have the therapists/parents take a picture of the desired food and talk about it. Do therapy or sort foods into similar categories. We moved from pictures to actual whole bananas and other fruits into his therapy and play activities. (Remember when mom said “don’t play with your food”? Well, forget about that!)

Eating outside the home, while still preserving the GFCF, organic, dye-free, allergy-free healthy diet principles, is now possible and enjoyable. Jeff now has some favorite restaurants, we can go to family gatherings without a cooler (with a little education to our families about Jeff’s dietary restrictions), and mom gets a break from cooking now and again. Here’s to solving your picky child syndrome!

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