Gustatory refers to taste. Some Asperger’s Disorder children have strong aversions to certain foods.
The sensitivity may be due to taste, smell, or texture. They may refuse to eat all but a few select items. Ordinarily refusing to cater to a child’s picky eating habits results in him learning that if he does not eat what is served, he will not eat until the next meal. Asperger’s Disorder children can have such strong aversions that they will simply refuse to eat, regardless of how hungry they are, until they are given their preferred food. Forcing an Asperger’s Disorder child to eat certain foods or withholding food until he eats what you serve him is therefore not a recommended approach. Most Asperger’s Disorder children eventually outgrow gustatory sensitivity but may still have a somewhat restricted range of preferred foods. Consultation with your child’s pediatrician and/or a referral to a pediatric nutritionist may be necessary to ensure that your child is getting proper nutrients.
Therapy for gustatory sensitivity is usually not necessary unless a child is failing to gain weight, is losing weight, is having frequent episodes of refusing to eat, has extreme reactions to foods, or shows problems with chewing and/or swallowing food. Consultation with an occupational therapist can determine if therapy is needed.