Many people with autism have food sensitivities or aversions. With people panic-buying items from grocery stores all over the world because of the spread of COVID-19 (also called the coronavirus), people with food sensitivities or food allergies are finding that it’s even more difficult to find things they can eat.
Danielle Haynes has a six-year-old son named Emmett who is nonverbal and on the autism spectrum. He only eat a particular kind of frozen pizza and sausages from ASDA, a grocery store chain. When Haynes went to the store like she does every week to pick up these foods for her son, she found the shelves empty.
She was shocked — and then she started to worry.
She searched the shelves looking for anything similar but there were no sausages or pizzas anywhere.
“I just started panicking when I realised Emmett’s pizza and sausages weren’t there,” she told the Daily Record. “I know people might not fully understand what it’s like to have a child who has autism, but when they are particular about food they will literally only eat that food or not eat at all. I was so worried about what I would be able to feed him.”
Not knowing what else to do, she put out a plea on Facebook.
“If anyone comes across Asda frozen mini pizzas or Asda extra special chipolatas could they buy me some and I’ll give you the money! Only thing my boy eats for dinner other than toast or nuggets (due to Autism) and Asda are completely wiped out of everything! Dunno how I’m going to keep him going other than in bread!”
The response was amazing. Haynes got 24 pizzas and 60 sausages.
“I was so shocked at the response,” she said. “People started messaging me asking how they could help and offering to get other things for me. It really restored my faith in people and how kind they can be. It has been amazing to see.”
She said that as a result of people’s generosity she’s “kind of ended up being a food hoarder by accident.” But we disagree. These are foods her son needs. And she’s certainly not the only family facing this sort of situation.
“I just wish people would be more sensible,” she said. “I try not to judge because I know people are just afraid of what is happening and they are just trying to look after their family, just like I am, but we need to think of everyone.”
This is a scary and uncertain time we’re living in, but we need to keep in mind that everyone has needs right now. We don’t need to go overboard. Protect yourselves, of course, but help protect other people as well by buying only what you need.
C. Dixon likes to read, sing, eat, drink, write, and other verbs. She enjoys cavorting around the country to visit loved ones and experience new places, but especially likes to be at home with her husband, son, and dog.