Right now our world is changing. Our schools are out for at least two weeks for Owen because of the coronavirus. This also has affected large gatherings and many other entities across the world. My thoughts run to dietary concerns for so many, not to mention other daily needs. Supplies and food at some stores are limited. This makes me think of my sweet baby O. He was dairy and gluten free for many years and although I have opened his diet to more foods he still has foods that he requests. One of the best pieces of advice I was given early on by his therapist was to rotate his food choices and not let him see packaging. I didn’t quite understand the principle at first or the magnitude of how significant this would be for us, but as time went on I’m beyond thankful for this advice. She went on to explain that many people with autism have sensory issues with foods. It can be related to color, shape, smell, temperature, textures, and many other reasons. For something like chicken nuggets, I bought as many varieties as I could find. One night he would have one brand, the next a different brand, and some nights I would put a few of both kinds on his plate. I didn’t get how important this was until one night I got a brand new kind of chicken nuggets. I sat the plate down in front of Owen and then turned to get something else in the kitchen. For some reason, I turned back towards Owen. He had that plate of chicken nuggets in his hands, above his head ready to catapult it across the room. I told him to put it down, that it was chicken nuggets, and somehow he listened. I got him to try them and he ate all of them. But that day I saw the importance of rotating his food and making sure we kept introducing variety to his diet. One of my rules with him before I even knew he had autism was he had to try a bite of everything. One bite felt daunting on many occasions to both of us with his sensory issues. The complexity of this truly boggled my mind so many days, but I knew I had to keep pushing forward with Owen. We’ve come a long way and he now requests food, but this was years in the making and we still work through the process to this day. I look at how much Owen is growing and starting to make connections now. I’m thankful for his growth and where we are today. This is one moment in time. Remember that you are not alone. Smiles to all and donut daze!
I'm Lynn Browder. Owen's Mommy. The best moments in time are when I get to see the smile on his face and that giggle come from his heart.