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FEAST (Food Exposure Autism Spectrum Therapies)
We all need good nutrition. We need it to think clearly, have stable moods, sleep better, maintain focus, fight infections, and have good and regular bowel movements. This is particularly true for a child living with autism, anxiety, ADD, or ADHD. According to many autism experts, 70% of children living with autism experience a direct link between the food they eat and their behaviour.
As a result of years of research, we now know that interventions that address diet, nutrition, and digestive support can be an integral part of an effective autism treatment plan. These nutrition interventions go hand-in-hand with other interventions such as getting good medical advice, Applied Behaviour Analysis therapy, and Pivotal Response Treatment.
Often, parents living with a child on the autism spectrum feel like they have no control over this distressing diagnosis: they patiently wait for services, meet with doctors, drive from appointment to appointment, and wonder “is there anything I can do right now to help my child?” Well, the good news is: nutrition is an important part of your child’s intervention and you have 100% control of that. All you need is the right knowledge and power to start making a change.
This program is for you if your child experiences:
- Bloated belly and belly discomfort
- Temper tantrums
- Social difficulties
- Constipation and/or diarrhoea
- Picky eating
- Stressful and fearful reactions to foods
- Foggy thinking
- Cravings for sugar and dairy products
- Chronic ear infections, skin rashes, and frequent illness
We all live in a fast-paced world and the food industry has given us fast-paced foods. Unfortunately, these foods are not the best choices for any of us, especially for children and families trying to cope with a special needs diagnosis.
As a result of taking part in this program your child could experience some or all of these benefits:
- Improved digestion
- Less gastrointestinal discomfort
- Less skin rashes and eczema
- Less aggressive behaviour
- Less hyperactivity
- Improvements in language development
- Improved ability to concentrate
- Improved sleeping patterns
- Improvements with toilet training
- Increased eye contact
- Improved focus
- Less infections and use of anti-biotic medications
- Improved growth and weight gain
- Anxiety reduction
Nutrition is confusing and science related to special needs nutrition is always changing. Traditional food therapy programs do not always address the sensory processing issues that result in food anxiety for special needs children.
Feeding Futures has created a unique food therapy program – one that is science-based and positive. We use a gentle, child-directed, highly motivational and family friendly approach to food therapy. Through building on your nutrition knowledge and the use of FEAST (Food Exposure Autism Spectrum Therapy), you will learn a tear-free method of exposing your children to new and nutritionally dense foods.
Once you are in the program, you will receive:
- An all-encompassing Autism & Nutrition Assessment: This assessment will help us create the foundation for your change and help you set goals for the next 3 months.
- A full assessment of your child’s current sensory processing needs, food anxiety, strengths, and individualized motivational tools.
- Weekly alternating, 1-on-1, 45-minute Skype or FaceTime follow-up sessions with Laurie for nutrition consulting and Lisa for Pivotal Response Therapy programming and support.
- Home visits or virtual assessments by Lisa to help design family-specific food therapy approaches.
- Email support throughout the program.
- Weekly nutritional and Pivotal Response Therapy handouts to help guide you.
- Weekly healthy recipes that are easy to make and will excite your taste buds!
In being part of this program, you will:
- Understand the difference between real food and fake food so that you can make empowered and informed choices to benefit your child’s whole health.
- Gain the family motivation necessary to keep going – even when you feel like it would be easier for your family to go back to your old ways of eating and thinking about food.
- Develop a natural, easy, and strength-based approach to nutrition for your whole family.
- Understand how to work with your child’s needs as opposed to against them.
- Decrease your child’s food anxiety through a positive, family-focused approach to food.
- Receive feedback and accountability to help your family reach its goals.
- Learn to fall in love with food by seeing food as the solution for behavioral issues.
Imagine having a nutrition consultant on your support team who has hands-on experience and has completed extensive research on this topic! And a therapist who understands the daily issues of raising a special needs child and can help you develop the best approach to help improve your family’s food choices.