I just read a wonderful article on how to treat “picky eaters.” What I love about this piece is that the professional’s process mirrors the process I take
parents through to assess their child’s or student’s challenging behavior. Always seeking to be strengths-based, and focusing on understanding what underlies behavior, my process looks at what is right in a situation instead of hyper focusing on what is wrong. The Food Therapist in this article is a referred to as a “food detective.” This past weekend at the William & Mary Conference on 2e, I talked about the importance for parents and educators to be detectives about their child’s and student’s behaviors, to look at “behavior as communication.” Don’t focus on the actual behavior, focus on WHY the behavior is happening. So too in this article, the process includes finding strengths – what does the child eat and like (savory versus sweet) and discovering why (strong sense of smell). With behavior I often find that behavior is in response to a need – a need for something or to avoid something; behavior is in response to a trigger. Then we look at how amazing the child’s self awareness is and we focus on helping him discover more socially acceptable ways to get or avoid what he needs.