Autism and Taste: How has your Palette Changed?

I think it’s fair to say that everybody’s tastes in food can change over the years. If you are autistic or have Aspergers however, you may be incredibly particular about your food and have very firm opinions about what you will and won’t eat. The reason for this is largely to do with the way our minds work when it comes to processing sensory stimuli.

Throughout my childhood my tastes were incredibly rigid. Trying new things was almost out of the question. Only very occasionally could I be convinced by my parents to branch out and sample something different. Even then, it took a lot of effort for them to persuade me.

Fruit, for example, was certainly not on the cards. Neither were most types of vegetables with the exceptions of carrots and broccoli. I never really considered what might be on the horizon when it came to new things. I didn’t consider which foods were healthy and which ones were not, but I think any child can be excused for that.

I remember on one occasion, aged about eight, when my lack of interest in different foods really became apparent to me (maybe for the first time). I was staying in the house of a close friend who I visited regularly at that time. Whilst we were playing video games in his room that night, his mum came in and said that we’d be having fish and chips for dinner. I had started to notice that we always seemed to have chips when I came round to stay, and when I innocently asked why this was his mum replied: “I don’t really know what else you eat.”
I also clearly remember the time when my granddad told me that “You don’t know what you’re missing!” when I repeatedly refused to try strawberries. He was, of course, right.

These days there is very little that I won’t eat, aside from foods that I’m allergic to. Whilst there are still some things that I absolutely will not touch (you’d be hard-pressed to get me near to an olive or an avocado, for instance), I have without doubt become far more adventurous when it comes to food.
I guess I just needed a little more time.

How have your tastes changed over the years? Whether you’re autistic or not, comment below! Let’s get a community going.

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