Welcome to Top Tips from our Autism Experts
More tips from our experts
(**tips are supplementary to interventions you may already have in place for your loved one and are not intended to replace any MDT guidance)
Meal times can be incredibly stressful for somebody with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
There are many reasons for this!
1. Mainstream table etiquette – the unwritten rule that meals MUST be eaten SITTING at the table – this can be very restrictive for somebody with ASD (due to sensory processing difficulties) who may rely heavily on movement breaks for self regulation / stimming!
2. Chats chats chats – the noise levels at the dinner table can be very high , at times with more than one conversation going on at a time – this can overstimulate the auditory senses and again make it difficult for your loved one to remain at the table
3. Odour odour odour – with various foods being cooked etc the olfactory senses can get overloaded and may result in the urge to gag rather than indulge – coupled with 1 & 2 one can see why meal times may send the nervous system into crisis and make sitting and eating a stressful ordeal for your loved one!
You may already have an OT diet for your loved one and be aware of the benefits of sensory aids (and the price of same 😱😱😱💰💰💰)
So why not try your hand at some DIY
Below is a sample of one of our homemade sensory support chairs!
The foam shapes allow for gentle deep pressure application when sitting, which as the science tells us ‘Switches the body from running its sympathetic nervous system to its parasympathetic nervous system the switch from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest”. Thus calming the nervous system and hopefully making sitting a little easier!
Give it a go and keep us posted on your successes 🙂