Family

Autism Awareness Month: The Diet Challenges Of Children On The Spectrum

All kids can be picky eaters at one point or another, they want sweets over vegetables or don’t like pasta. On the other hand, parents of children on the spectrum know this is an understatement of their child’s eating habits and face daily challenges just getting their kids to eat.


Causes of Feeding Problems

There is an array of reasons a child on the spectrum won’t eat certain foods or refuses altogether. Some reasons include:

  • Oral Motor Skills – A child may have a jaw weakness that may prevent them from chewing his/her food. It can prevent proper chewing and processing of food.
    Behavioral/Rigidity – Some kids with ASD have a form of OCD and get set in their ways when it comes to what they like to eat. This makes it difficult to introduce new foods or balance their diet.
    Sensory Issues – If this is the case, they may avoid foods based on the smell, color, texture or even temperature.
    Digestive Problems – If something causes stomach aches or acid reflux, a child may avoid it. By going to a gastroenterologist, parents can rule out digestive issues.
    Lack of Self-Awareness – Some kids will over-eat or under-eat. They may eat until they vomit or eat a few things and stop not realizing they are still hungry.

My Own Challenges

I have two children on the spectrum and both have different issues when it comes to eating.

Leo – He is very sensory based and rigid when it comes to his eating. He smells everything he eats, even if it’s something he has had before. He can smell things I can’t even smell and we (our pediatrician and myself) believe he may have a higher sense of smell. For example, we made pancakes the other morning for breakfast and this time we added in a hint of cinnamon. The second we put the pancakes down in front of him, he started crying saying he didn’t like them. We took the plate back and added a plain pancake under the original. He literally took the top pancake off saying he didn’t like it and began eating the plain one. Also, he gets stuck in his way of having the same thing over and over again because it’s “safe,” he knows he likes it.

Lexi – She is behavioral, rigid and lacks some self awareness. We can trick her into eating something as long as she doesn’t know. One example, she will drink the kids Danimals yogurt but won’t eat a regular Yoplait yogurt. However, if I put the regular yogurt in the Danimals container, she will eat it. Just like Leo, she gets stuck in the habit of wanting the same things over and over again. Now with her lack of self awareness, we have to make sure she doesn’t just eat chicken nuggets all day long. She could have that for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – no problems. Obviously that isn’t a great diet, so we have to tell her no and deal with a bit of a crying fit before she will accept something else.

Their diet is limited because of these issues and we try to balance it out as best we can with supplements. But the list of foods they will eat is pretty short for kids their age

Breakfast

  • Eggs
  • Pancakes

Lunch/Dinner

  • Chicken Nuggets (Only Chick-fil-A or Dino Nuggets)
  • Danimals Yogurt
  • Nutella Sandwich (we are working on PBJ)
  • Plain noodles
  • Mac n Cheese

Snacks/Treats

  • Apples, bananas and strawberries (so thankful for this!)
  • Muffins (only chocolate)
  • Cookies (only chocolate or peanut butter)
  • White rice
  • Chips (only plain or cheese)
  • Ice cream (vanilla or chocolate)
  • Cake pops (they each have a specific one)
  • Popcorn
  • Goldfish/Graham Crackers

This is a Complete list of what they will eat!


A Few Helpful Tips

    Keep mealtimes calm and stress-free.
    Set a routine for mealtimes.
    Create a visual plan around mealtime.
    Teach rules about serving sizes.
    Look for signs of food intolerances.
    Look into supplements to fill in the gaps.


Well, I hope y’all enjoying reading through my own experience and tips. If this was new information, then I hope it helps you understand other that deal with this daily.

Thank you so much! Please feel free to post your comments or questions below!

Cloe πŸ’‹

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Advice/Tips, Family

Autism: IEP Process

I’ve decided to share some IEP experience tips and give other parents an insight to what they should expect. 

  • First, be prepared to have many, many meetings so they can evaluate your child. We, personally, had 7 meetings before the final meeting.
  • Second, always remember that you are your child’s best and only advocate. Fight for what you feel your child deserves and needs.
  • Third, have support during this process. This could be your spouse, family member or friend. Makes decisions easier and takes the stress of pressure off of you. 
  • Finally, Don’t feel obligated to sign when presented with their IEP recommendation. You can take it home to “think” about it. I took it home and asked my sons pediatrician and other therapists what they thought and they all thought he should have more time. 

I just recently received the decision of what the school district is offering for my son. They are giving him 1 hr a week of group speech and that is it! I requested to take the IEP home and decide what I think. 

I am going to come back at them with the request for at least 2 hrs a week of individual speech and at least 1 hr a week of OT. 

Once they review my request, they will schedule another meeting and I will find out if they will be adding my request or if they don’t feel he needs the extra time. 

*I will post an update once we get the final decision.*


Please feel free to share some of your experiences or any comment or questions you have! 😁

Advice/Tips, Opinion

Pokemon Go

As many people may already know the smart phone game, Pokemon Go, has come out recently and tons of people are jumping right into the game. I won’t deny it either, I totally have been playing it too. 

It’s very simple and easy to play but a little confusing considering there are no clear directions of how to play the game. 

I’m no pro but here are the few tips I have if you are gonna play and some basic info on gameplay. 


When you start out, three Pokemon pop up on the screen for you to choose from. Move away from them 3 times and the fourth time they resurface, Pikachu is in the selection options. 

Your main objective at the start is just collect Pokemon. Once you reach level 5, the real game begins. That is when you choose a team – red, blue or yellow. The team you choose has no effect on your game play. It just separates people so they have opponents. Then you’ll want to join a gym to gain items over time.

At a teammates gym, you will fight other Pokemon to train yours and make the gym stronger. When you duel other teams gyms, you are training yours and weakening their gym. 


Then there are these poke stops. They are at local landmarks, statues and even intersections. Here you can pick up more items for free. The turn over for another pick up is about 5 minutes. 


Once you have done these few steps, it’s all up to you on what you do next! 

Let me know if you have any other secrets or tips! And enjoy! 

Advice/Tips, Opinion

Tips and Advice for Coping with PTSD

To conclude my series of PTSD Awareness Month, I’ve decided to write some tips for people dealing with PTSD – coping skills – and what you can do to help others with this issue by understanding components of PTSD. 

Part 1 – Dealing with PTSD

  1. Exercise – It will release endorphins and help you focus your thoughts. 
  2. Self soothe – Finding what calms you down will help when you really need to get back to what you were doing. 
  3. Connect – Find others who share the same struggle to connect with and help each other. 
  4. Self Care – Take time to relax, eat healthy, stay away from alcohol and drugs, get a good amount of sleep. 

Different things will help depending on what caused your PTSD. 

For abuse, writing out the whole traumatic experience will be difficult but is a great way to feel like you’ve moved past the event. 

For combat, connecting and seeking out some kind of counceling will help. Finding the right counselor is a big part of getting better. 


Part 2 – Supporting Someone with PTSD

  1. Don’t pressure – It can be difficult to express what exactly they are feeling or what they experienced. 
  2. Listen – Most of the time, someone dealing with PTSD need to talk about their issues. Help guide them with what to do by their cues. They may need to just talk about the event over and over again, other times they just need someone to hangout with that doesn’t pressure them. 
  3. Understand Triggers – This could include anniversary dates; people or places connected with the trauma; and even certain sights, sounds, or smells. By being aware of the triggers that may cause a reaction, you are better able to help and understand them. 
  4. It’s not Personal – Dont take certain behaviors personal like anger, irritatable or being closed off. Accept you may never fully understand what they are going through.
  5. Balance – Taking care of yourself and keeping a level head works wonders. Also, learning more about PTSD will help you to understand better. 


So I hope you can go out there and use these tips to help aid yourself or someone else deal with this issue. It can be difficult but with support and determination, you can accomplish a better life. 😊

Let me know if you found these to be helpful or if you have your own tip to add. Just comment below πŸ‘

Advice/Tips, Opinion

Summer Hacks

In honor of the start of summer, I have come up with a few hacks I’ve learned over the years that have saved me stress, money and/or time. Depending on where you live, they may not all apply but still good to know. πŸ˜‰

  • If you are like me, then you probably worry about leaving your valuables when you get in the water. Only since having kids, I use a new diaper. Put all your valuables in the clean diaper and roll up to look used. Nobody will ever touch it 😜
  • If you’ve ever been at the beach, then you know that feeling of dryness from the ocean mist. Use a spray bottle filled with green tea to spray on to keep yourself refreshed and moisturized. 
  • It can seem like as much as you try and dust off the sand, you never can seem to get it all off. Put baby powder on and then dust again, it all comes off. 
  • It’s annoying when sand gets in your  drink. Use press and seal on top and poke a straw through. 
  • Want to get tan faster? Going on a walk or swimming gets you more tan than laying out. The higher your heart rate, the faster you tan. 
  • Hate getting sand all over your car from the towels and toys? Bring grocery bags to put everything in.
  • Sunburnt? Use aloe vera gel or soaked tea bags to take the burn away. 
  • Want the ‘just been at the beach’ wavy hair? Mix together 2 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 1 teaspoon hair gel


Well there you have it! Just a few simple tips for summer. Hope y’all enjoy your summer!!

Comment below with any other summer tip or what your summer plans are πŸ˜‰