Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder: This is the inability to recognize a taste sensation. Sense of taste originates from the mouth and moves to the gustatory cortex of the brain located in the frontal lobe. This sensory disorder can be found in children living with Autism. The disorder only allows the children to have the sense of the main flavors such as “sweet, bitter, salty, sour, and savory food”. This, however, causes children to become picky eaters or struggle with the quantity of seasoning intake, food temperature, etc.
Generally, people do rely on taste function to gauge the quality of nutrients consumed. Children living with Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder require certain treatment activities or crafts to help their taste and eating habits. This craft offers them a unique opportunity to get engaged in the world in a way that helps improve their growth and development.
The taste gustatory craft however involves playing with edible items for their consumption, on which the taste perception will be trained. This can be seen as follows;
Food testing is an integral part of cooking and eating. Almost everyone has the habit of finding flaws in the dish. But this is not a bad thing. This signifies how strong your sense of taste is. So as Test play is very crucial in learning new things, I have some awesome Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder tests for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Yoghurt Taste Testing
Yogurt has a unique taste that children would love, but an autistic child might need aid in picking the unique taste to be fond of.
Have the children in a safe, hygienic environment. Serve each portion of the yogurt while they sip at once. Allow the children to sip in small containers for a longer period so that the taste might linger on their taste buds and their memories consequently.
Ice Cream Taste Test
This is a great tasting craft for children, especially those who love ice cream
When children with Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder who love ice cream have the opportunity of tasting it, they get super excited and this fuels their interaction with one another thereby their social skills are positively influenced.
Get multiple flavors of ice cream, and spoons. Serve each child a cup each.
Instruct the children to taste and see the wonderful reaction that follows.
Blind Taste Test
This activity is very important and is recommended to every kid with Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder. An activity that involves testing a product or food while being blindfolded. The method is used to avert preconceived perceptions of the food while questions would be asked on the varieties of food the children took while being blindfolded.
In this case, you have to make the children settle down and inform them probably about the procedures while denying them the knowledge of what they will be tasting.
You can introduce a dish they have never tasted into the game and ask them about the taste of the dish, whether they like them or not, and their perceptions of the food tasted. Adding a reward system to this test will make it more interesting as each child will want to compete towards getting the reward.
Apple Taste Testing
This is another way of bringing flavor concepts into the classroom if it is a school setting.
Have the children well organized in groups and make available the apples to be used. Make a discussion about the apples, their sizes, colors, tastes, and scent.
Banana Taste Test
Banana is one of the nutritious fruits with a good flavor that we have around us, this flavor is loved by people of all ages especially children and this makes it an excellent fruit for taste testing.
To practice this Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder Activity, it is important to secure the fruit in quantities that go well with the number of participants in the test. Then, have the fruits washed thoroughly while the children also clean their hands in preparation for having it.
Allow each child access to a banana, direct them on how to peel it and eat.
Practicing this activity will help the eating habits of children with Autism and the flavor will leave them wanting more.
Fun and Excitement
Some kids are not very eager to perform tests, so how about we carry out some cool and exciting activities. The following activities will Aid kids with Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder and at the same time provide enough entertainment to get their attention and keep them focused throughout.
Have a large batch of playdough separated in different containers and mix the contents of each of the containers with different ingredients to create identifiable scents, like lemon juice, cinnamon ginger, etc., there could be an addition of food coloring in each of the containers if desired. This will also make the doughs more attractive to the children thereby fascinating them to play more with. Enjoy the different smells, try to guess what they are while also learning to identify their colors.
Another type of exciting Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder Activity is bubble blowing. Initiate a game with a bottle that is filled with contents that have the potential to make bubbles like caffeinated drinks. Make an opening at the bottom of the bottle and cover the opening with a sieve-like material. Then instruct the students to shake the bottle well. Because smell and taste are closely related to each other, the perceived smell has an important role in a person’s readiness to consume food or drinks, so you can understand how this will be massively beneficial for kids with Gustatory Autism Spectrum Disorder. Moreover, blowing bubbles is an enjoyable activity.
Edible Jello Finger Paints
This is a craft with nice make-up filled with the combination of a good taste and smell, being easy to make is an added advantage.
Have some edible fruits such as orange, strawberry, blackcurrant, lime, and make fragrant and healthy finger paints.
It is an edible finger paint recipe that is very safe for children, but it is important to pay attention to cleaning to have a sticky paint on your tables, the major reason it is recommended to be done outside the house.
This will have a supporting effect on a child who needs extra gustatory input, especially while focusing on a task like homework.
How do I go about it?
Secure a gum with a good flavor, get the child set for the task she’s supposed to accomplish. She chews the gum and enjoys performing the task, that’s it. Many studies claim that chewing gum sharpens memory, and thus can have positive effects for kids with Autism.
Drinking From A Straw
Sucking can actively influence attention retention especially when the liquid being sucked is thick. An example of this is a smoothie or milkshake.
This pattern of tests works well on children with short attention spans.
Administering this test involves purchasing or securing a healthy smoothie or milkshake with a straw, while the participants consume it making use of a straw.
Enjoy and Learn
I believe learning is also important along with having fun. So here are a few activities that will help kids with Autism to learn new things.
Baking skills can also be acquired by your child if you enable him to do so.
When baking, allow your child to learn by giving him the chance to knead the bread before it bakes. It could be slower than you doing it yourself but allow your child to measure, pour, and stir the ingredient.
Encourage your child to smell the ingredients and the bread when it’s fully baked.
Children are capable of exploring different types of smoothies. Smoothies have nice flavors and are usually very tasty.
You can combine up to six types of fruits, mix well and pour into different bowls for the children, each of them having a bowl of smoothie to himself.
Make smoothies with different colors and healthy fruits and make them have a taste of these smoothies. Fruits are loved by almost every kid, so i believe this is going to be one the favourite activity among the kids with gustatory Autism.
Sherbert is light and sugary powder that can be tingly on the tongue and be enjoyed by itself.
Little children from 3 years upward are capable of making sherbet.
Children are capable of mixing this recipe because of the nature of the ingredients which are lightweight and easily combined.
This is an activity created for a child to taste food that is well arranged on a crafted caterpillar.
For this purpose, a paper caterpillar will be created and you will place different food materials on its different body parts.
Then, instruct the child to taste the food material in steps starting from the back where there is placed a little bitter food that changes as the child keeps tasting in a forward direction till he gets to the sweetest part.
This is an engaging craft and a wonderful activity for any child with Gustatory Autism spectrum disorder.
Chocolates are always loved by children due to their tasty nature. You can make a chocolate dough by yourself if you are confident to make a tasty one that your child would love to smell, taste, and even get addicted to. It is better to engage them in the process of making the dough for them to have an overwhelming experience of the craft.
Gustatory Sensory Processing Disorder (GSPD) is a disorder that affects one’s ability to taste things. People with GSPD cannot distinguish between the five different tastes, and they may find food flavors bland or unpleasing. Symptoms of this condition include nausea after eating, weight loss, low appetite for nutritious foods like meat and vegetables, oral hypersensitivity to hot spices such as chili peppers which leads people with GSPD to avoid them at all costs. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it would be best for you to seek medical attention before your health deteriorates further. If none of these symptoms apply but you still want more articles on sensory processing disorders feel free to comment below.