Teaching eating skills to an autistic child

Teaching eating skills to an autistic child

Developing eating skills or rather learning the skills associated with “feeding self” can be very challenging for a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).  Eating independently and mastering the use of utensils like spoons require a range of skills, including fine motor coordination, hand-eye coordination, visual-spatial perception, and more.

At the Amazing K Autism School, our Occupation-Centred Intervention Curriculum can help in a variety of ways such as:

The development of (2) fine motor coordination skills – This means that our program helps the young autistic child learn the skills associated with grasping the spoon, holding it steady, scooping food, and eating independently.

Daily (2) hand-eye-coordination strengthening sessions also form part of our curriculum which means we help our students acquire the ability to control the movement of the spoon as it moves from the bowl towards the mouth without spilling.

Most children with autism struggle with (3) spatial relationships or spatial geometry and working on these skills is pertinent when helping the child to understand the relationship between the spoon, the food, and the child’s mouth.

Visual-spatial perception is yet another essential skill we incorporate into our daily activities. By teaching our students to judge the distance between the spoon and their mouths, we enhance their overall eating experience.

Through consistent practice and guidance, a young child with autism can fully development independent eating skills. If you need help for your child you are welcome to reach out to the Amazing K in autism school team. Should you not be in the Randburg or surrounding areas we would recommend that you reach out to a reputable occupational therapist for help.

Ilse Kilian-Ross

Ilse Kilian-Ross is the owner of Amazing K, a registered ECD and Partial Care Facility in Johannesburg. Amazing K is a private adhd school, autism school and therapy centre for children from age 2 - 6 years where learners receive the best of both the schooling and therapy world. The autism school offers Individualized Education Programs, Speech- and Augmentive Alternative Communication (AAC) therapy as well as a full and adapted Academic Curriculum.