The path to a healthier lifestyle
Worrying about proper nutrition and picky eaters is common for nearly all parents. It’s an even bigger reality for parents touched by autism spectrum disorder (ASD), many of whose kids tend to be overly selective. Through our center-based Hopebridge 360 Care model,* we use a combination of therapies intended to overcome a range of eating obstacles.
Feeding difficulties can arise for children with ASD for a number of reasons. There can be mechanical issues with chewing or swallowing, but the majority of challenges are sensory-related. Food aversions can be due to smell, texture, color or simply because it is something new they haven’t tasted in the past.
It is important to make sure your child gets the nutrition he or she needs, so our therapists tackle feeding from behavioral, occupational and speech therapy angles. Sometimes it’s focusing on building muscle-related skills, since those used to chew are the same used to form words. Other times we aim to build tolerance with help from positive reinforcement and other behavior techniques.
The types of aversions vary, as do the reasons behind them. As with all of our services, the plan and goals are custom-tailored based on your child’s needs. From one-on-one therapy for tasting new foods to feeding groups aimed at getting kiddos comfortable eating around others (which is necessary before entering school!), we’ll find the right approach for your child.