Kind Aaron swallows his fears for fruit challenge
ABOY with autism who finds it unbearable to eat fruit due to his condition ate a different piece every day in aid of the charity which helps him.
When Aaron Donnelly, 11, of Ullswater, Macclesfield, refuses to eat his fruit and veg, it’s not just because he’s a ‘fussy eater’.
For Aaron, his autism means it can be distressing to him to eat certain foods.
He has heightened senses and the texture, taste and smell of fruit, veg and other foods can be unbearable to him.
He has special milkshakes to get the nutrition he needs.
But Aaron, who also has ADHD and attends Walton Hall Special School, faced his fear of fruit and took on the challenge of eating a different piece every day for two weeks to buy a pool table for charity Space4Autism which supports children with autism and their families.
Aaron attends the Macclesfield charity to go to social clubs.
Aaron is still collecting money and if he raises enough will pay for a coach to take the families to the zoo too.
Aaron, who does volunteer gardening for people in Macclesfield through the Rally Round organisation, said: “The challenge was really difficult for me as I struggle with foods like fruit. I knew it was going to be really hard but I wanted to buy a pool table for my club.”
Aaron did a similar eating challenge last year with vegetables in aid of Space4Autism.
His mum Mirelle, 44, a Space4Autism volunteer who is married to John and is also mum to Jodie, 19, Caitlin, 16, and Ashton, six, said: “Part of Aaron’s condition is that he has problems with textures and everything is more heightened.
“When Aaron eats certain foods like fruit it’s a sensory overload and can go right through him. He goes tense and has to swallow quickly as it’s unbear- able for him.
“Aaron has a very limited diet and is underweight. We’ve got to the point where he can eat eight peas but that’s a big thing for him.
“It’s the same for smells and touch too. I can’t cuddle him except when I’ve asked his permission and he feels comfortable.
“If Aaron eats or touches the wrong thing, in the worst cases he would have meltdowns and be screaming and rolling on the floor,
“This challenge was all his idea as he really wanted to do something to help the charity. I’m so proud of him.”
Donate at justgiving. com/mirelle-donnelly.
●● Aaron Donnelly has been eating fruit every day to raise cash for Space4Autism