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Rethinking Autism and “Picky Eating”

Photo © Melissa | Flickr / Creative Commons [image: Lunch box with each food type in a different compartment. Foods include pretzels, jellybeans, raspberries, sliced cucumber, and whole wheat sandwich bread in a butterfly cutout.]  Alex Earhart autisticallyalex.com For as long as I can remember, I’ve been ashamed of what I do and don’t eat. The stigma of being a “picky eater” has followed me my whole life, bringing comments (and no small amount of exasperation) from family, friends, wait staff, and strangers. I’ve recently been examining why I struggle with certain foods, and have come to the same conclusion as I have with much of my post-autism-diagnosis self-exploration: I’m actually incredibly strong, and my experiences are real and valid. Why am I so “picky”? Well, if you could experience my senses for a few hours, I bet you’d be more understanding, less judgmental, and I’m fairly certain you’d stop…