Autism and the Dinner Table

If you’re the parent of a child with autism, it’s probably no surprise that kids with the disorder are five times more likely than non-autistic children to face mealtime challenges like tantrums and extreme pickiness.

If your child struggles with food aversion, “avoid trying to force her to eat a certain food,” says Lauren Elder, Ph.D., assistant director of dissemination science for the nonprofit Autism Speaks. Instead, introduce new foods slowly–put it on the plate one day, have her touch or smell it the next, then she tastes it, before finally taking a bite. “Often a child will need to spend several days on each step before she’s ready for the next one, but a gradual process such as this can really help a child’s willingness to try something new.”

Do you struggle with a picky eater? Tell us about it below, or tweet your story to @KiwiMagazine.

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