"you have to teach them"

I brought them food but their autism makes them hyper focus and they just don’t eat that’s the difference between asd kids and neuro typical kids

For Morgan, I looked for ways to make food super appealing and super convenient - lots of foods that could be eaten by hand without being gooey (stuff on hands! alert! alert! stuff on hands!) but also things that were eye catching and fun. We went through a few different stages of that. For awhile, it helped to wrap everything up like little presents. For awhile, it helped to decorate the heck out of everything - food coloring, sprinkles, shapes, party toothpicks and umbrellas, etc. For awhile it helped to tuck snacks into toys like a kind of puzzle, or use toys as plates and cups for the pure weirdness of it.

And sometimes it was just better if I sat there and reminded them to eat - that worked best if I offered a sweet first, since the sugar would get their appetite working, and they'd start to notice food.

Mo was like this about everything - not just one thing like video games. Everything they did was with this amazing focus for hours on end. It's somewhat developmental in the sense that as kids move into the tween and teen years it dissipates a bit, but my partner and I are divergent, too, and before we had kids we could both forget to eat and take care of other needs if we were wrapped up in a project. It's not something you teach away! That's the biggest thing to remember about neurodivergent kids, you Won't "teach them better". Not shouldn't, won't. Can't. Learning works just the same for us as for nts - it's just as dependent on interest and perception and personality and temperament and mood. It's our perceptual fields that are the most different from nts.

I really want to affirm that it's Hard for neurotypicals to parent divergent kids, because of gaps in your own wiring. You're wired to look for specific social cues first and to use those cues as a kind of emotional feedback. So when divergent kids don't produce those cues as readily, it makes it harder to see what's going on with them, but it also makes it harder for you to feel connected and loved, to feel like your kids want to connect with and love you - so you have less of an incentive to learn better. It's not y'all's fault, like I said, it's a wiring gap. Divergent parents don't have that same gap, so it's easier to look past the absence of social performance and see the non-performative cues that telegraph a kid's feelings. But just like divergent folks learn to perform, typical folks can totally learn to look past performance. That's the great thing about human nature - we're plastic and adaptable! We learn and grow for the sake of people we love.

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