I need the help of wise Mumsnetters...my son's eating is out of control.

(38 Posts)
JakeBullet Sat 20-Apr-13 08:56:23

Less an AIBU and more of a WWYD to be honest.

I could also post this in the SN section but knowing many non SN children can be big eaters too I thought I'd get advice from a wide section of people.

My son is 10 and autistic, I say that first because there are definite issues causing some of his problems.

Unlike many autistic children who are faddy eaters, my DS is a fantastic eater. People are amazed that he eats such a variety of foods and veggies are his first love. The child thinks he has a treat if I do sprouts with dinner grin, I mean, what kid LOVES sprouts?

However, over the past few years his eating has become more and more of a problem. He literally raids the cupboards and fridge and its becoming more and more problematic.

I have stopped buying certain things because we just cant have them in the house. So no multipacks of crisps (which aren't good for him anyway), no biscuits etc. However, he will then move to sliced bread, blocks of cheese, (I once found an Edam rind in is room after I went to the fridge to cut some and found it gone...a whole wedge of Edam), dried pasta....which he will literally sit and crunch. It seems to be a habit and boredom thing. He is also really good at getting in the kitchen while I am otherwise occupied by, for example putting washing away or having a bath. He doesn't sleep well so trying to do these things when he is in bed is a non starter although I do try and do most things while he is at school.

So I stopped buying pasta but continued buying bread as it was needed for packed lunches. He has left this alone this week but now it's milk, and especially since I started using our local milkman. I get four bottles of milk a week and am now starting to notice these being drained. This morning I went to the fridge to get the milk out for a coffee to find an empty bottle of milk and an empty two pint bottle which I had bought on one of our "non milk delivery" days two days ago.

Now I can cancel the milkman...that is not a problem to me but honest to God I am thinking about locks for the kitchen cupboards. The kitchen has no door so cannot lock the kitchen!

Obviously this is costing me a fortune and at the moment I am on benefits so don't have a huge budget for shopping. I generally do manage well as I cook from scratch etc.

The othr issue is that DS is now putting on weight, and is in the obese category when he is weighed and measured. People say "oh he's just stocky", but no he isn't "just stocky" he is overweight. We have just started a MEND course to try and increase his activity levels. He has a trampoline in the garden but at the moment has a fear of motorbikes going past outside so wont use it <bangs head on wall>.

So apart from cancelling the milkman, buying cupboard and fridge locks, adding bread and cheese to the "no pasta" list, is there anything else I could be doing?

I am sorting out a social story to try and explain why he cannot eat like this. DS doesn't always "get" things so it needs repetition.

Itsjustapuppet Sat 20-Apr-13 11:52:19

I think Prader Willi (sp?) might be worth looking into. From what I can remember it is not unusual in children with autism.

Euphemia Sat 20-Apr-13 12:21:53

Could you have a visual menu plan on the fridge/cupboards so he understands what the food is for and that it is needed over the course of the week? I like the idea of "No Entry" signs on cupboards too.

jendot Sat 20-Apr-13 21:17:56

We have Abigail padlock on the snack cupboard. Envy thing he is not allowed to eat goes in the cupboard and access is only granted at certain times, I have to move the key about a lot!!!

jendot Sat 20-Apr-13 21:18:40

Stupid predictive text!
Abigail - a big
Envy- every

lisad123everybodydancenow Sat 20-Apr-13 21:23:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

foreverondiet Sat 20-Apr-13 21:55:40

I have 3 year old who only wants to eat snacks / dry cereal. We don't buy any crisps crackers snacks biscuits chocolate cakes ice cream or juice. Breakfast cereal kept high up (for older child might have to lock). Store cupboards contain dry rice / lentils / pasta so not appealing. Bread is in freezer take out as needed - could be locked up. Prepare loads of veg - cucumber carrots celery in fridge - make it the only thing he can get hands on. Cook pasta only as you need it. freeze any leftovers. Could you buy skimmed milk which at least is v low calorie? Or just keep small amounts in fridge - can defrost for each day's breakfast overnight and then no more for the day.

StiffyByng Sat 20-Apr-13 22:08:43

Sympathies. My stepdaughter has frontal lobe damage and as a result has no appetite satiety and an obsession with sweet things. She wants to eat constantly and can have violent meltdowns when denied. Luckily (in this context) she also has very limited mobility so is not capable of independently seeking food, but will for example snatch food from her toddler sister's hands or lie about not having eaten if she sees the opportunity. I would also encourage you to take this to a doctor. There are a few physical causes for the sort of eating you describe. It can be very hard to get people to take it seriously, rather than just thinking it's a typical kid after sweets or wanting to treat the poorly child with chocolate.

Letitsnow9 Sat 20-Apr-13 22:32:58

If its a sensory thing rather than hunger, would the chewy jewellery/t bars be any help?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 22:48:07

Is it a sensory thing? Would sugarfree gum help? Maybe he's stimming with food?

NeoMaxiZoomDweebie Sat 20-Apr-13 22:48:28

x posts snow...smile

changeforthebetter Sat 20-Apr-13 22:58:42

What is a "social story"? DD1 is a scavenger. I keep no treat food around but she is obsessive about stealing food (even kids' vitamins) I think there may be some asp issues but we are just at the beginning of trying to get to the bottom of what is going is on for her. hmm

I'm sorry I know nothing of autism really. Is it possible that its acseistate issue? There is a medical condition that means someone never feels full. It would be worth seeing your dr. It's called prada willis syndrome of something. Apologise for the fact in no medical expert and I'm sorry if in other posts stuff had been mentioned my phone is on a go slow having trouble loading up.

FatherSpodoKomodo Sat 20-Apr-13 23:05:43

DS2 has Autism and will also eat anything and everything. Luckily we have not had too much of a problem with him taking stuff recently - he's quite rigid on rights and wrongs and knows that taking food without asking is wrong. For now!

I know people have mentioned chewing gum but be careful! DS2 doesn't realise it's not for eating. He will take it, chew at it, swallow and start again. He once sneaked a packet up to his room and ate the lot in 10 minutes! Then I noticed the bit that said "May have laxative effects" It didn't have much of an effect thankfully, but I did warn his teachers just in case!

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