Our final blog in the series about eating looks at eating too much!
Although selective eating, restricted diets and not eating enough perhaps are most regularly associated with autism there are instances where children may regularly overeat.
This is often due to inflexible thinking patterns whereby children may feel that all the food needs to be finished or they may need to eat specific amounts of food.
Autistic children are well-known to have sensory and perceptual differences which may mean that they do not respond to the sensation of being ‘full’ by stopping eating or they may over-fill their mouths due to difficulties with perception.
What can you do?
Structure and routine help! Make mealtimes at regular and set times. Offer healthy snacks when needed.
Use visual communication support to show how much food there will be and what will happen when it’s finished.
Keep options healthy and ensure alternatives are available.
It is important to keep mealtimes relaxed and fun and never a source of conflict or stress.
Always leave a bit of room for the odd treat, perhaps even a bit of Valentine choc for your little loved one!