134. Food and Body AwarenessApr 27, 2023
For many of our children, food-seeking is a constant source of frustration and anxiety. They may constantly ask for food, even when they have just eaten, or they may fixate on specific foods or textures and exclude all others. Sometimes, no matter how much they eat, they never seem to feel full, which can lead to weight gain and other health issues.
Many children with autism have a heightened sense of smell, taste, and texture which can make certain foods just unappealing to them. They may also have difficulty communicating their hunger or fullness, which can lead to overeating and some of our kids might engage in food-seeking behavior as a form of self-stimming which can be calming or soothing for them.
For many of our kids on the spectrum, their interception can be impaired or disrupted and when it is, it can contribute to food-seeking behaviors, as well as other health issues such as dehydration or poor nutrition. Interception is an important aspect of overall body awareness and it is critical to many of our basic functions, like regulating hunger and thirst, controlling our breathing and heart rate, and sensing, and responding to pain.
I know our kids often have a limited range of foods they will eat, but I want to encourage you to continue to offer them a variety of foods to help them expand their palate, don’t give up, and continue to encourage them to try new things and don’t get discouraged.
Don’t stay stuck in how hard your life is or you won’t be present in the now and that mama is what is most important. Find the good in every day because I promise, even when you feel like you are in quicksand, there is good there too, and when you look for it, you are training your brain to look for more.
I promise, if you are willing to do the work on yourself, this entire parenting journey, even in the most chaotic times will be a lot easier for you to navigate.
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