Just Take A Bite: Lori Ernsperger, Ph.D. & Tania Stegen-Hanson, OTR/L ~ Future Horizons: Arlington, Texas

Just Take A Bite

Many parents are troubled with picky and resistant eaters. This causes an additional stress on the parent who is already distressed about issues related to the co morbid diagnosis (autism, sensory processing disorder, etc.). Knowing that nutrition is key for physical, emotional and synaptic development, and watching a child who is limited to 10 foods struggle to even try new foods or foods of varying food groups brings much stress to the family mealtime which should be a relaxed, social time. It is estimated that "75% of the autism population has severe food aversions." This book defines the picky eater vs. the resistant eater and explains when the eating challenge is a worry. Upon reading this book, I learned something that I had never realized; the effect of eating challenges can be quite pervasive. The book includes assessments and diagnostic-style pull outs that are easy to reference. Oral-motor development and the effect of delays on eating are explained in detail. Sensory integration disorders and their effect on eating are discussed and addressed. Exercises in empathy are included throughout the book, to assist the caregiver/professional in identifying with the resistant eater. Exercises for assisting the student in developing greater postural control and other deficits common in eating challenges are detailed along with nice visuals to aid the student/child. These exercises involve common household items requiring no out-of-pocket expense to the caregiver/professional.

Bonnie Kimpling-Kelly, Teacher/Behavior Analyst