How about eating on the spectrum? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Many people on the spectrum have issues with food. Some of us have issues with texture. Some of us have issues with looks. It’s a bizarre thing. I only eat foods that I can eat with my bare hands and even then, I am really limited.

So what happens if you combine those foods with social gatherings?

To give an example, let’s talk about a big event on my Louisiana campus every year. Crawfest. Ah yes. All these people get together to eat these messy things that I can’t even stand the sight of and it’s so much fun for everyone.

Unless you’re someone on the spectrum but you go because you know you need to be social and who knows but that you might meet someone you really like there and could date and marry. Yeah. I don’t go for the food.

But while I’m there it’s awful. Last time I was wearing a hooded jacket and just sat and put the hood over my head. I couldn’t stand to look even. When I get in these situations, it’s the same way Clark Kent reacts to kryptonite.

Last Thanksgiving, being away from home, a professor invited me to his house with some other students and staff for Thanksgiving. I told him I would come, and I did, but to please not ask me to eat anything or offer me anything. To the best that I can recall, he didn’t do that.

Any time I have had to go to an event like this, it has been something that I have dreaded that aspect of and honestly, I cannot really tell you why. It’s just the way that I am.

Back when I was engaged to my now ex-wife, I recall well going to an event where we were going to meet some donors to my then seminary. I figured these people could also someday be donors to Deeper Waters so we went together. Things were going well until some servers came by and came to me and said “And what would you like sir?”

Deer caught in the headlights.

Until I felt a hand on my leg and I heard her say “He’s not having anything. He’s finicky, but he’s fine.”

I can tell you my ex-wife had more success changing my diet than anyone else did. Strange power women possess indeed.

So when you have a friend who is on the spectrum, be aware of any food sensitivities they might have. They might have none. My friend Evan Minton who is on the spectrum has zero issues here. I have plenty of them. It’s always best to go in knowing.

Also, if we do have something, don’t make a big deal out of it. I remember going to a Bible study event once at the house of some friends and this happened. It was incredibly embarrassing to me and I was depressed the whole evening. Weird? Yes, but that’s life on the spectrum for you.

Meals may be great for you and how you bond, but for the person on the spectrum, it could be the opposite.

In Christ,
Nick Peters
(And I affirm the virgin birth)

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