Sunday, March 16, 2014

Food for Thought: Grandson Has Autism, Gets Teased for Messy Eating

“Our grandson, who has Asperger syndrome, has difficulty getting food neatly into his mouth. No matter what we say, he seems oblivious when it ends up on his face. And it gets him teased and avoided at school. How can we help him?” his is a tricky situation! We definitely don’t want him getting teased when he could learn to eat more neatly. This is an important skill, especially as he gets a bit older and starts to think about dates and job interviews. It may take some time, but here are some tips that may help. 1. Use a mirror. When he’s at home, have him eat in front of a mirror. This can help him become aware when food’s on his face – as well as when he’s eating neatly. 2. Try a nonverbal cue. This strategy can help your grandson when he’s in public and a mirror isn’t appropriate. Sit where he can see you while he’s eating. Each time food ends up on his face, gently tap your face to indicate where it is. Let him know that this is his cue to wipe his face. When you’re not around, a parent, sibling or trusted friend can provide the cue.

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