Diet and autism make an uneasy partnership. The majority of those on the autism spectrum have a shaky relationship where food is concerned. Often it is the strong taste or smell that causes issues. The texture is a real problem for many. Younger kids may get into fixated stages where you can only get them to eat two or three items regularly. For parents, these food issues often cause mealtime to be fraught with stress. With enough time and the proper techniques, nutrition, diet, and autism don’t have to be a problem.
At Camp Worth, our team recognizes the connection between nutrition, diet, and autism. We believe that a proper diet can help children and adolescents with autism succeed more than children without a healthy diet. If you are a parent of a child or adolescent with autism and you’re having trouble with them eating correctly, learn more about our exceptional autism nutrition therapy program by contacting Camp Worth today by calling 855.915.2545 or completing our convenient online form.
Common Mealtime Issues
Some of the most common issues surrounding autism involve the fact that many people on the spectrum have difficulty with fine motor skills. This makes it difficult to hold and drink from a cup or use a fork. After a time, the person may prefer only finger foods because they are less frustrating. The texture is another major issue. Think about the child that says they don’t like carrots. You can’t get them to eat cooked carrots, but one day you find them munching on one picked straight from your garden. This indicates a texture problem. These are easy to deal with. It doesn’t hurt to give them raw carrots instead of cooked ones. This isn’t as easy with other things, though.
Trying new foods can also be problematic. A person with autism is likely to resist any change, and fresh food falls into that category. Anything with a pungent taste or smell might also cause their over-sensitive nature to balk. All of these things can be worked around with time and patience.
How Camp Worth Can Help
Our staff members work together so that everyone is on the same page regarding our resident’s treatment. Once we know what issues are present for your child, we can design a diet and autism program that will help ease them into being more tolerant of differences and more willing to try new things. Our occupational therapy will help with motor skills if that is an issue. It is our goal to help make the relationship between diet and autism one that encourages a pleasant association with food, not a constant battle.
Treatment Programs at Camp Worth
The adolescent years are difficult for everyone. When your child also deals with autism, these years can seem like constant battles. Whether the issues are education, emotional regulation, life skills, nutrition, diet, and autism, we have the knowledgeable staff to deal with. At Camp Worth, we will work with not only your adolescent but also you to help your family navigate these crucial years more smoothly. We know that every child can learn and grow into independence. As a result, we offer a wide range of helpful treatment programs to give your child the skills they need to overcome their autism symptoms. A few of our treatment programs include:
- Applied behavioral analysis program
- Management medication
- Education program
- Autism parent training program
Camp Worth’s Food and Nutrition Program
At Camp Worth, our food and nutrition program was specifically designed for the needs of children and adolescents with autism. We use an array of strategies to help children learn how to eat a proper diet, including:
- Consistency when introducing a new food
- Posting visual schedules
- Encouraging flexibility around new menu items
- A balanced diet with fruits and vegetables
Our food and nutrition program also includes instruction about how to use cups, forks, and other utensils, as children with autism may struggle with fine and gross motor skills. Our Camp Worth team works closely with each child to ensure that they are not only getting the nutrition they need but they’re learning that nutritious food can be delicious too.
Explore the Connection Between Nutrition and Autism at Camp Worth
One of the most challenging aspects of being a parent to a child or adolescent with autism is ensuring that they eat a healthy diet. Although children with autism often encounter challenges with eating, it is possible to have these children eating properly with the right resources and support.
Contact us at 855.915.2545 or complete our online form to discuss what issues you are dealing with and see how we can help your child enjoy eating healthy foods. Reach out to our Camp Worth team today.