Monday, January 11, 2016

Picky Eater Problem Feeder Resource List

Picky eaters and problem feeders are popular topics on internet groups of parents chatting about children. I've attended a number of workshops and conferences over the years on all things autism and my blog post is a place for me to share resources. (Disclaimer: Always keep in mind that I am just a mom and not a professional. I am a regular ol' goober with a blog.) If you have a resource you'd like to add, please add it in the comments section as a resource for other parents.

I am just a mom. I sometimes refer to myself as a "LayMom". I'm not a professional. It makes sense to me that before a parent considers feeding therapy for a picky eater or problem feeder, that the parent may first want to rule out foods that may be influencing picky eating behavior.

I have an adult friend who has a diagnosis of high functioning autism. She is a wife and mother to four children. Most of us are excited to wear new clothing right away. She explained to me that new clothing makes her anxious, even if she bought it for herself. She simply is not able to wear a new clothing item right away. She needs time to see it hanging in her closet or folded in her drawer for it to become familiar before she can wear it. 

That made sense to me, especially when I applied her anxiety to a new food. When my firstborn cooked with me, I could enforce a rule that she try anything she helped me to make. She is typically developing and her sensory issues (everyone has them!) are lower. I realized that with my other kids, who have more sensory issues, that joining me to prep food and cook is enough, and that they need multiple exposures to a new food before they will even allow a small bit of it near their plates, much less try a bite of it.

Over the last decade and a half, I've attended more conferences that I can count and have taken a lot of notes about picky eaters and problem feeders. I put them in one place to make the notes handy. Here ya go:

If you have never seen Dr. Doris Rapp on the Phil Donahue show, I encourage you to head over to YouTube and watch. There are several videos available.

Nutritionist Kelly Dorfman recorded a webinar about picky eaters here. She originally titled her book, "What's Eating Your Child?" and later changed it to "Cure Your Child With Food":

Feeding Therapy: The one picky eater problem feeder protocol that professionals around me raved about is Kay Toomey's SOS (Sequential-Oral-Sensory) protocol. Go to the SOS web site to read about it and to find someone trained in the protocol in your area.

Autism One has several videos with Betsy Hicks teaching about diet.
Feingold Diet 
Several of my favorite teachers and articles come from Developmental Delay Resources.
Kelly Dorfman's blog.
Horizons DRC blog often features posts about picky eaters, problem feeders, food jags.
Many parents have seen success with the DINNER WINNER plate.

Going Deeper: I met William Walsh PhD at a conference in the early 2000's and he is a brilliant mind and fantastic teacher. Biochemists are among my favorite biomed professionals. His articles and book are excellent resources for a parent researching for a child. I italicized researching because I want to emphasize working with your child's doctor and not trying diets and supplements without supervision. This article continues to teach me.

One of the themes I heard again and again at conferences and workshops is that in some children, diet affects behavior. We thought the idea was crazy. No one was more surprised than my husband and I to see the positive difference in our child when we removed gluten from her diet to show everyone gluten was not a problem for our child. We were the crazy ones. Back then, we had very few resources. I don't know what i would have done without Lynn Hamilton and her book "Facing Autism". Today, there are many more resources. Some of my favorite teachers are nutritionist Kelly Dorfman and Dr. Doris Rapp, William Walsh, Ph.D., Dr Ben Feingold, and Betsy Hicks. 

I do hope readers will add resources, hints, and tips in the comment section to continue the experience based, parent-to-parent resources. I hope this post is helpful. And as always, keep your doctor in the loop. I am not an advocate of trying diets or supplements without doctor supervision.
PS: There are no affiliate links in this blog post. I was not paid or encouraged to feature any of these resources.

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