Reasons Why Autism Can Affect a DietSensorySensory difference can play a huge part: look, smell, taste, or the feel of food, as well as proprioception (body awareness), vestibular (balance) and interoception (awareness of internal states such as hunger or fullness).Desire for SamenessWe know that individuals on the spectrum are likely to have cognitive rigidity and the ‘desire for sameness’ and this may result in an adherence to particular routines or rituals around food. Whole categories of foods may be refused, typically meat, fruit and/or vegetables. This may be because they contain examples of foods that are visually very different from one another. The child who has difficulties forming categories of objects or generalising within categories is then likely to stick to those groups of foods that look very similar. In addition, when a child is anxious, cognitive rigidity will increase, making the expansion of food categories much harder. Anxiety, Disgust and ContaminationAnxiety about what will happen during or after eating, such as whether the food will be ‘okay’, being sick or choking and in eating situations outside of home, is common in individuals with Autistic Spectrum Condition. Additional disgust and contamination reactions are also common.