Feeding problems can be pretty daunting in autism. Your child may have oral sensitivities and react to different textures, tastes and smells. All of this can make for a pretty picky eater. Many children with autism do what we perceive to be strange things like, for instance, eating in “layers.” Sometimes children will pick the cheese off of their pizza, then eat the bread, or even eat the cheese, hamburger and bun separately at McDonald’s. Sometimes children will peel the breading off of chicken nuggets and eat that separately from the chicken.
While this may seem odd to some, it is quite common in autism. Compounding these feeding problems is the issue of behavior problems. Getting autistic children with feeding problems to eat can be even more frustrating due to the behavioral issues inherent in the disorder.
The best way to address these problems is to contact an occupational therapist or clinic that addresses functional feeding issues for children with autism. They will conduct an evaluation/assessment of your child and compile a report based on their observations. From there, the team can generally determine if further therapy is necessary and will design the appropriate intervention for functional feeding.