Saturday, July 19, 2014

Validated by fact that ‘Food Chaining’ is a thing

Book cover: "Food Chaining," by Cheri Fraker, et. al. Cover image combines a cartoon-like illustration of an apple, carrot, a meat, tomato, lettuce and cheese sandwich and a child gazing at a beverage in a cup with straw, with the photo of a child holding a slice of bread so that it obscures his or her face.
“Validation” would be my choice if I had to name my feelings reading this statement by Loree Primeau, PhD: “Since feeding involves all sensory systems (sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste), eating is the most difficult sensory task that children face.”

Eating continues to be the most difficult sensory task for this woman on the autism spectrum.

To expand my palate, my husband and I take an approach very similar to the “food chaining” discussed by Primeau at Aspergers101.

It takes time for me to get used to an unfamiliar food, and it requires considerable fortitude to be willing to try new things. An experience that is already fraught with challenges on the basis of unfamiliar or unpleasant tastes or textures is further burdened by past experiences and prevalent social attitudes.

My journey with food took me from the anger and recrimination of caregivers who labeled me “picky,” “spoiled” or “bad,” to the social pressure and arguments from peers who can’t conceive of someone disliking chocolate.

At a minimum, I have to bring my own snacks to venues where food is served, because I can’t rely on the selection including foods I am able to eat.

It intrigued me, reading Primeau’s post, to learn that there is a name for my husband’s and my approach to food and that, moreover, an entire book was written on the subject. Food Chaining by Cheryl Fraker, et al. is worth checking out for possible inclusion among my recommended books about autism.

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