Friday, July 10, 2009
My son, Josh, has hypersensitivity to smells as part of his sensory processing profile. He used to lift his plate up to his nose to sniff his food before eating it. This happened even with familiar and favorite foods. Fortunately as he got older he was able to inhibit this behavior, or at least do it so surreptitiously that no one noticed. Once I cooked a chicken drumstick in the microwave, and Josh wrinkled his nose and announced that it smelled like our dog Shadow when he is wet. Wet dog never smells good! Consequently, Josh wouldn't eat the drumstick, and his description of the smell grossed out his sisters so much that for months they all refused to eat chicken. Last night I made cilantro rice with fresh cilantro. This recipe also included orange marmalade for a taste of citrus. The main course was to be served over the cilantro rice, but I noticed that Josh skipped the rice. I asked him why, and he grinned and told me he had sniffed out the rice but that it smelled like Febreeze or something so he didn't want to eat it. Josh is not a picky eater, but when a smell reminds him of something non-edible he can't bring himself to eat it. I'm guessing that the orange citrus smell is what reminded him of cleaners, so I can see why he wouldn't want to eat it. We like fresh food, but not "cleanser fresh" smelling food. The rest of us didn't get the Febreeze impression, so we ate the rice. I didn't push it with Josh, because he wasn't complaining about it and we all have foods we don't care for and choose not to eat. Plus, I imagine the Febreeze rice for Josh would be like asking me to eat something that smells like bleach or Pinesol. I'm just glad he is able to tell me why some foods are o.k. with him and others are rejected.