How to Support Gustatory Discrimination Disorder

Gustatory discrimination disorder affects one’s ability to detect, interpret, and recognize tastes, including chemical or hazardous flavors. It is one of the eight subtypes of Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD) and one of many manifestations of Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD). Learn more about SPD and its subtypes here.

See below for some ways to identify and support discrimination challenges.

Those with Gustatory Discrimination Disorder May:

  • Be unable to detect flavor or distinguish between flavors.
  • Seem to have an unusually low appetite and/or be underweight.

How to Support Olfactory Discrimination Disorders:

  • Set and stick to a meal and snack schedule. Set an alarm to help your child know when it’s time to eat.
  • Incorporate calorie rich meals and snacks into your child’s diet, such as protein shakes or chocolate milk.
  • Practice reading and understanding expiration dates, food labels, and all kinds of household packaging. This will help your child avoid spoiled food and other harmful substances.
  • Practice observing the way others react when tasting something that is dangerous or unpleasant. Teach your child to use these reactions to identify potentially harmful substances.

Keep in mind that no two children are exactly alike, and most people exhibit both seeking and avoiding behaviors from time to time. If you think your child might be suffering from sensory processing issues, you should seek a professional assessment. The STAR Institute’s Treatment Directory is a great resource that can help you find therapists, doctors, and community resources in your area.

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