What is Mealtime Group?
Children and adults with autism can sometimes experience difficulties with eating and drinking. These difficulties can include not liking some foods, finding it hard to accept new foods, disliking a variety of different textures, and not getting enough nutrition.
This can mean having a limited diet which can, in turn, lead to other health and wellbeing issues.
The Autism SA Mealtime Group supports children on the spectrum to identify and address underlying difficulties that impact on their food choices, mealtimes and behaviours in relation to food.
Mealtime Group is facilitated by Speech Pathologists and Occupational Therapists who have had additional training in supporting individuals on the autism spectrum with mealtime needs and preferences.
The group format provides opportunities for peer modelling, and supports individuals as they are exposed to, and explore, a variety of different food types and textures and practice mealtime skills.
How can I benefit from joining the group?
Mealtime Group participants are supported in a positive environment to look at the reasons why they might resist mealtimes, and to explore and experiment with foods.
A variety of therapies and interventions are used during Mealtime Group. These include oral motor skill development and gross and fine motor skill development specifically related to mealtimes.
Participants will also be supported to develop their social skills around mealtimes with peers around their age, and be exposed to non-preferred and new food items to help develop acceptance of these foods.