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Some ideas to Make Mealtimes a little Easier

7 blog avatar 1 Some ideas to Make Mealtimes a little Easier
Expert Name:  Cindy Ring, MSW, LSW
Expert Title: MSW, LSW
Company Name:  Step By Step Inc.
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Cindy is a clinical administrative associate with Step By Step Inc.

Her responsibilities include designing research studies, protocols and evaluation tools, data collection and analysis and writing and editing grants and reports. Cindy is a member of the National Psychology Honor Society and a licensed social worker. She holds an MSW in Social Work Administration from Ohio State University, a BS in Psychology from Wright State University and is currently pursuing a PhD in Forensic Psychology from Walden University.

Some ideas to Make Mealtimes a little Easier

Eating meals together is a family ritual that many people have fond memories of.  Plenty gets done at the family supper table, including discussing and updating everyone about each member’s day, laughter and family bonding, and time to just be together sharing food.  Having a child with autism sometimes turns this pleasurable activity into a hassle for everyone. Here are a few tips you can try to make this time smooth and fun for all.

  • Include your child with autism in the meal planning – especially if he or she is a picky eater.  Try to include one food per meal that he or she likes so that you are not always having to fix more than one meal. 
  • Encourage your child with autism to try new foods when appropriate – Use preferred foods as a reward for trying non preferred foods.  Keep bites of non preferred foods small enough so they do not seem overwhelming.
  • If your child has food texture preference, include some new foods with a similar texture to see if your child likes them.
  • Include your child with autism in the family conversations – You can even help your child to create a paragraph or a couple of sentences that he or she wants to tell the family about (what happened to him or her that day, something funny he or she saw, etc.).  Your other children can ask the child with autism some concrete questions about his or her day to include him or her.
  • If your child likes to roam when he or she is eating, have him or her get items to help with the meal – You could allow your child to walk around and serve people, get napkins, get drinks, silverware or other items.

These are just a few ways to get your child involved with family mealtimes.  With some creative thinking, mealtimes can again be an enjoyable event that includes all members, including your child with autism.


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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

Mother Child
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