She feeds her daughter on canned spaghetti. What sounds strange at first is an act of motherly love: Crystal MacDonald looked everywhere for "SpaghettiOs" – and got surprising help.
When Crystal MacDonald from Massachusetts tells other mothers what their eleven-year-old daughter is getting to eat, she is likely to run into irritation at first. Because Ashley doesn't eat anything but canned spaghetti.
She has discovered the dish for herself since the girl was four years old: it had to be "SpaghettiOs", small rings of pasta, covered in bright red tomato sauce. Every now and then, a cheese sandwich or yoghurt was allowed – but only until the beginning of the year. Since the Corona crisis and the changes that went with it, Ashley only stayed with what she knew and liked to be on the safe side. And these are SpaghettiOs.
Austist daughter only eats canned spaghetti
Ashley isn't badly brought up or crunchy. She is very autistic. "Eating is a very sensitive experience for her and I suspect that most foods are too much for her, they have too much texture and taste for her," Crystal MacDonald told Today.
Actually, the mother was happy to be able to incorporate at least several foods into her daughter's menu over the years. But then came the corona pandemic and with it two problems: "When she lost her school routine, and as for many autistic people, routine is vital for their mental health, she stopped eating other foods," reports MacDonald, who did so in front of one faced a double challenge. Her daughter refused to eat anything other than spaghetti o's. And in the supermarkets all cans were sold out after hamster purchases.
At some point MacDonald takes you to different stores up to 20 times a day, hoping to get hold of the last few spaghetti somewhere. Vain. The mother of five stopped working in April to be able to look after her children during the corona crisis.
And suddenly the SpaghettiOs were at the door People responded when an Attleboro mother said she couldn't find her autistic daughter's favorite food at the market. http://ow.ly/qVgi50Bmf0D Posted by The Sun Chronicle on Wednesday September 9th, 2020
People responded when an Attleboro mother said she couldn't find her autistic daughter's favorite food at the market. http://ow.ly/qVgi50Bmf0D
Posted by The Sun Chronicle on Wednesday September 9th, 2020
For months, MacDonald tried to outsmart Ashley with no-name products and similar spaghetti. Nothing worked. She just didn't want to eat anymore. Until the beginning of August a small miracle happened. Suddenly the family was surprised with deliveries of canned spaghetti!
After an interview with the local newspaper, several people became aware of the MacDonalds. Not only did they send the mother tips on where to find SpaghettiOs, but they even sent several cans straight to the door.
But that's not all: After "Today" reported on the family, the magazine contacted the manufacturer of the spaghetti. As a result, Ashley received a year's supply of SpaghettiOs delivered to her home!
"As a parent of a child with special needs, it can get lonely and not many understand you. Especially in such times of turmoil and hardship, it was incredible to experience such kindness," said MacDonald, touched. For others it's just canned spaghetti – but it means a lot more to the family.
History shows how valuable cohesion is in society. And that it can sometimes be worthwhile to tell your story openly and honestly – and in turn to listen to others when they are in need.