Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Owen's Lunch

April is Autism Awareness Month, and my 8 year old son Owen, has Autism. I thought I would feature one of Owen’s lunches today even though it is not a *bento* lunch, and give you some information about autism.

Autism affects 1 in 110 Children, and 1 in 70 Boys

Here are some of the warning signs
  • No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months or thereafter
  • No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months or thereafter
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months
  • Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age

Owen has a number of sensory issues. This is very common in people with autism.
What are the symptoms?
Children with sensory integration dysfunction cannot properly process sensory stimulation from the outside world. Your child may:
·   Either be in constant motion or fatigue easily or go back and forth between the two.
·   Withdraw when being touched.
·   Refuse to eat certain foods because of how the foods feel when chewed.
·   Be oversensitive to odors.
·   Be hypersensitive to certain fabrics and only wear clothes that are soft or that they find pleasing.
·   Dislike getting his or her hands dirty.
·   Be uncomfortable with some movements, such as swinging, sliding, or going down ramps or other inclines. Your young child may have trouble learning to climb, go down stairs, or ride an escalator.
·   Have difficulty calming himself or herself after exercise or after becoming upset.
·   Jump, swing, and spin excessively.
·   Appear clumsy, trip easily, or have poor balance.
·   Have odd posture.
·   Have difficulty handling small objects such as buttons or snaps.
·   Be overly sensitive to sound. Vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, hair dryers, leaf blowers, or sirens may upset your child.
·   Lack creativity and variety in play. For instance, your child may play with the same toys in the same manner over and over or prefer only to watch TV or videos.
Owen is a very picky eater, and it isn’t a situation where one can just *make him eat it or he gets nothing for dinner* he would actually eat nothing A LOT, nutrition is a big concern for us. Owen doesn’t just want sweets or junk, he dislikes anything soft or wet, and refuses to eat ice cream, pudding, most desserts really unless they have some good crunch, or strong flavours.

In the near future, we are going to start to try the Gluten/Dairy Free diet with Owen. It is something we tried and failed at once before because of all his food aversions. Now though, I have built up enough *likes* from Owen that I feel confident we can make it happen and stick with it long enough to see if it makes any difference. Owen has a Drs apt next month, and we are going to do the Celiac testing, and then I will officially start. It is very important to be tested before you remove anything from a person’s diet.

Here is a typical Owen school lunch. His lunch is packed in the OOTS Lunchbox. I love this sucker for him. It is perfect for an 8 year old boy or an adult, way too big for Ainnsley. Owen has 2 snacks and a lunch time.

Top to Bottom:
Blackbean corn chips (Garden of Eatin)
Clementine and grapes
Amy's Organic Lentil Soup, natural yogurt covered raisins and fruit strips

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