Victim of Sensory Deficiency; Redefine 'The Picky Eater'

by Rachel T.
(Escalon, CA, USA)

I'm really trying to learn more about this deficiency, as I'm a 21 year old female with no real health issues, but all my life I've been very sensitive to certain textures.

Everyone always called me 'picky' because I wouldn't eat a lot of foods. They would literally make me 'picky' doesn't really fly in my case. I really want to know more about why I am this way; when my mother and father aren't. Especially now because I have 16 month old twins, and they're showing signs of this oral sensitivity and I'm concerned. So it must be genetic.

So does this mean there's an underlying reason for our deficiency. Possible Autism? I know I'm not autistic, but my son shows some signs that make me wonder. I also want to add, that I'm not only orally sensitive.

Growing up we had pine trees all over our backyard, and I could not walk on the pine-needle covered ground for the life of me. If I'm walking barefoot anywhere, I walk on the balls of my feet. And it weirds me out if I step on anything. (I'll excessively wipe my foot off even if it was just a leaf) I cant stand when people touch my face especially around my eyes.

I can't even put contacts in my own eyes because my eyelid will not stay open, my lids have a reflex to shut and protect my eye anytime I try.

I also can't stand to get dirty, and have food on my face. You'll never see any food on my face cuz I'm a clean eater and I feel everything that's not supposed to be on my body.

I really want to learn more about my condition and how my children will turn out if they're as bad as I am. It

will be difficult to feed them, but it may be a little easier for them having me as a parent because I've lived with it all my life and I can empathize with them. I sure hope I can learn more, as info becomes more available about this strange deficiency.

Just to show the severity of my case, heres a list of some things I can't eat: Tomatoes, Onions, sweet potatoes, lettuce, celery, steamed carrots, all peppers, all kinds of cooked beans, cauliflower, squash, pumpkin, zucchini, fresh green beans, cucumber, spinach, (pretty much all green veggies except cut, canned green beans, peas, and brocoli), any kind of melon, fresh peaches, pears, bananas, pineapple, eggplant, avacados, mangos, apples that aren't crisp and juicy, lemons/limes/oranges/grapefruit (the only citrus I can stand are the little tangerines called Cuties). Yogurt with fruit inside (must be creamy only) cottage cheese, any fruit smoothie (must be plain vanilla or chocolate), any fruit with ice cream, (only chocolate and peanut butter are allowed in my ice cream.

Thankfully I can eat most meats. Can't eat nuts especially in chocolate bars and whatever they ruin with them. Jell-O, any kind of blended mushy fruit, like in pie? Yeah I can only eat pumpkin and chocolate pies. No fruitiness. I could go on and on, but its kind of exhausting.

I've really had to learn to focus eating the healthy things I like to eat for the sake of a healthy lifestyle, but it is a very small spectrum of foods and I hope that my twins won't have it nearly as bad as I do...only time will tell I suppose.

If you have any questions for an adult whose lived with this and you're concerned about your own child, don't hesitate to send me an email. I would love to help. Best wishes!

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Sep 28, 2017
Adult with SPD
by: Rebecca

Thank you for posting your story. I am the same way, and for years we did not know what it was. Doctor's always fluffed it off as food allergies and did not investigate it any further - but I knew it wasn't allergies.

I have the same problems with fruits and nuts - can't eat them at all - and textures of many other foods as well as touch, sound and smell sensitivity, but no other signs of autism.

My (now adult) daughter has some sensitivities, but not as many as myself. Some foods taste completely different to her than to other people. I would say that I was able to grow and thrive despite the condition, and my daughter as well, by finding the foods that do work and continuing to try new possibilities. Some items I was better able to tolerate as I got older, some remained the same.

As someone who has had to deal with these sensitivities all your life, you will be a great advocate for your children. Thank you.

Jun 03, 2014
My "picky eaters"
by: Carolyn

Hi, My name is Carolyn and I have four kids ranging in age from 24 - 11. I have two girls and two boys. My 11 year old boy has major texture issues, and my 23 year old son does also.

My girls don't seem to have any of these same issues, which is interesting to me. My 23 year old son (Kris), is more open to eating different foods now but that has only been since he was an adult.

Growing up, I could get him to eat raw carrots sometimes, apples, and bananas. Otherwise there were no fruits or vegetables. He did like refried beans, so I would buy the fat free ones and make him burritos which consisted of beans cheddar cheese and ketchup. He likes scrambled eggs, plain spaghetti noodles with ketchup, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, grilled cheese.

However, my 11 year old son won't eat ANY vegetables or fruits. He doesn't like eggs, or refried beans, he doesn't like peanut butter. He likes hamburgers, (we usually make turkey burgers), chicken nuggets (although he is really picky about which ones he will eat), grilled cheese, plain toast with butter on it, pancakes with butter and syrup.

He just started eating sloppy joes but other wise it is the same things over and over and over. He even gets tired of the same things, but just can't bring himself to eat anything else. He will try some things but hasn't found anything he really likes.

I am very worried about his health and I really don't know where to turn. He also stutters and I have had him in for speech therapy through our insurance and also some occupational therapy, and they were supposed to work on the food issues, but really never did.

Any suggestions?

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