Meal Tips for Autism Patients
For an autism patient, the lifestyle tend to be different from the rest of the world. This is because the dynamics of interaction tend to be different from the rest of the people. Autism patients have different body posturing and facial expressions. They have different voice tone and behavioral disturbances. They have deficits in language comprehension, they delay in learning to speak and have flat speech. They lack empathy and understanding of social cues. Due to these factors, one must be careful with how they relate with these patients. Once you understand how to relate with them, it becomes easy for you to interact with them. In case it is your child, it provides a better platform where you can be able to grow a bond between you and your child. It is easy for these patients to be misunderstood mostly by people who do not have knowledge about autism.
Autism patients tend to be very selective on their diet. They will accept certain foods and reject others. The earlier you understand their preference the better. Some overreact to certain foods or may not enough food. Challenges like not being able to chew food or process it and sensory problems around food such as digestive issues and food texture issues. Here are some tips to help you interact well with an autism patient during their mealtime.
You should keep mealtimes calm and stress free. You may have a busy family, but try to keep mealtimes very calm and not stressful. You should not eat in a hurry and being restless. Because of the nature of their eating habits, you may be offended. Avoid showing your frustrations. Also avoid quarrels during meal times. Plan a routine that is predictable for mealtimes. Set a routine that is very consistent and one that is predictable for meal times. It works better for autism patients. Try choose a time that is regular and a place that is regular as best as you can.
Look out for food intolerance. There are things like a bloated stomach, diarrhea, changes in bowel movements, constipation, sleep disturbances or acid refluxes are not normal during digestion. They are an indication that something is not right and that something needs to be done. They should capture your attention. They can be the very reason that your child or patient is avoiding certain foods. If you notice such intolerance, write down the foods that cause such intolerance so that you notice the trend and know which foods to avoid. When you note them down, take them with you to a doctor so that you can get professional help and advice. Avoid feeding your child at least two hours before bed time. Remember they have sleep disturbances, feed them several hours before bedtime so that they do not have the disturbance at night.
If your child wants to eat alone, it is good to investigate and know the reason for that. Some patients are very uncomfortable when they hear any sound of other people eating and so they can only join others for meals when they have noise-cancelling gadget such as headphones.