Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You Are What You Eat

There is another area of life with A that coincides neatly with the whole sensitivity/insensitivity conundrum: his eating habits. A does not have the dietary challenges that some kids (and adults) with autism face, but he definitely has some textural issues.

For example, A will not eat any food that is liquid with solids in it. This rules out cereal with milk, soups of any kind (even if they don't have solid pieces of anything). He is getting to where he'll ingest yogurt with fruit in it, or tapioca pudding ~ but then, there are more mainstream individuals out there that hate the latter anyway, so that one's not such a big deal. Oatmeal is hit or miss; sometimes he'll eat it, other times.... I've learned it's really hard to get oatmeal off a textured wall. He will eat dry cereal, and drink milk from a cup though. He also has no problems with drinking anything usually considered a beverage. Attempts to be sneaky and put soup in a cup to drink don't work out so well.

Sticky substances like syrup or honey on pancakes/waffles are fine, so long as he's eating. Once done with the meal, though, he tries to rub his hands clean on anything he can find (other than the obvious napkin, provided for such a need), including Mom's clothing and the couch. I want to personally thank whoever invented slipcovers and stain removers, as they are lifesavers. We don't quite have the whole hand-washing thing down just yet. He won't put his hands in the running water without a fight, and I can't plug the sink and fill it a little bit without him splashing all over the bathroom. It's a work in progress.

Foods also need to be cut into small pieces, or he will just pick at them. If we give him a whole pancake or sandwich, he doesn't seem to get how to eat it. He'll clean his plate if it's bite-sized pieces.

A's current likes and dislikes otherwise meet with typical toddler standards. He loves cheese, spaghetti made with elbow macaroni instead of long noodles, and fruits but doesn't care for veggies in any size, shape or form. (We make him eat them anyway). He is a cheese and fruit monster!

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