Yuk!  Issues With Specific Food Textures...

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As with the overall issue of touch  the same overall issue of the inability to deal with "partiality" could also lie at the root of sensitivities to specific food textures. 

For example, in most autistic children, slimy foods were still very much an issue.  Most autistic children, even those on enzymes, refused to eat most slimy foods.   Why was that?   I thought about this one a lot... and again  it too, could be somewhat explained by the issue of "partiality"... of "the part verses the whole".  

If you think about it, slimy foods do something no other foods do... they stick to the tongue and make it very difficult for the child to perceive "what is tongue" verses "what is food".   The two get integrated into a "new whole" and this, I believed was the source of frustration for the child when it came to slimy foods.   This also explained why other types of foods (i.e., French fries, any crunchy foods, etc.) were better tolerated by the child... they were much more "discrete" when placed on the tongue... the child could still tell "what is tongue" and "what is food".  Of course, there were always exceptions... and this was true of slimy foods too... those foods such as puddings, for example, foods the child quickly learned tasted "good" were quickly labeled as "ok" even by the autistic brain and thus, the child could learn to overcome even certain "slimy foods" based on taste alone. 

I must admit this was still a difficult area for Zachary.   I had spent virtually no time on this specific issue.   Once things slow down, however, I would try to help him more in this area by labeling foods as "slimy", as "sticking to the tongue" when I gave them to him to see if that worked.  Again, I suspected a label of "sticky" and the use of "sticks to your tongue" may help a lot in this area.  The keys to resolving issues with touch as they related to partiality  were again the same... labeling, explanations and other positive coping mechanisms, perhaps such as counting.

Instead of placing foods on the tongue or trying to have Zachary eat them, I believed the best way to go would be to first show him how slimy foods “stuck to his arm”.   I believed that could make it less stressful when the time came to actually make him eat these foods.   Also, I suspected issues with smell were at play here.  Labeling smells was something I had completely ignored/forgotten about until very recently… and smells, like anything else, introduced a new “part to the whole”, that also needed to be defined – and the challenge here was that “smells” were invisible!  I had only recently started to always make Zachary aware of smells that were about him… trying to label as many  smells as I could for him.  I knew he understood the concept of “smell” even though smells were invisible “objects”, molecules invisible to the human eye, but, I wanted to at least mention this issue with the invisible in case it was an issue for other children.  Perhaps making children smell “the steam” from foods was the way to begin addressing issues of smell (being careful of course to ensure the child was far enough from the steam not to be burned by it).

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