Autism Information & Research
Archived Q&A Sessions
Unusual Eating Habits
Topic: Unusual Eating Habits
Many children who are on the Autism spectrum have unusual eating habits. Oftentimes, children (and adults!) crave the very thing that they are allergic to. We have seen children, again and again, who, when allergy tested, are allergic to the very limited food that they will eat. There are numerous studies that have been published which discuss the possible relationship between the unusual behaviors of children on the autism spectrum and allergies to Casein (a substance found in dairy products) and Gluten (found in wheat products). We recommend that you read the book, “Biological Treatments for Autism and PDD”, written by Dr. William Shaw. This book is very helpful in not only educating the reader in these matters, but also helping you to know where to go for testing, information etc. You could also use the internet to research these two areas of possible allergy. Oftentimes the ones who care for children are part of the reason that certain behaviors continue.
Try exploring certain questions for yourself such as:
- How often do you offer alternative foods?
- When alternatives are offered, are they done with excitement and enthusiasm?
- How do you feel when you offer a food, and (s)he says no?
Exploring these questions might help you to become aware of any “attitudinal glitches” or areas where you feel stressed or anxious. By removing your stress or tension, you could become even more powerful in helping your child to eat more varied food.