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Aspergers, anxiety and compulsive eating

(14 Posts)
Bekksy Mon 01-Aug-16 10:09:14

Name changed for this. I am so desperate for help now.

DS is 11 about 5.6 tall and weighs 12.5 stone. I don't know what to do anymore.

NHS won't refer me for help as CAMHS is it's too busy. Tried going private but at £80 a session and days off, with no results I just couldn't carry on.

He lies, hides/steals food, tampers with the scale, you name it, it's
like he is intentionally trying to kill himself.

His feet/ankles are fucked so sport has always been difficult but he does a lot and does try. He swam 3km in 2hours about 3 weeks ago so he does exercise regularly. He was swimming 3 times a week and played other sports as well in primary (but I think that meant standing on the sports field as opposed to taking part) I try walk with him at least twice a week. Long walks.

We have been to an Osteopath and got inner soles (after years of fucking misdiagnosis at the NHS) which have helped and he is walking better. But his muscle development is all wrong as he has been walking funny for so long (toes turned out).

I didn't want this to be a big deal and give him ongoing issues for life but everything is becoming about his size now. He goes to high school in September and I can't get even get his size at the school uniform sale. Never mind the bullying that we know will happen.

I'm sitting here crying as he has put 1/2 stone in 8 days. I don't know what he is eating. We hide everything nice. He'll eat sugar out the sugar bowl, cake decorations from the baking cupboard.. Leftover chicken in the fridge is eaten before the rest of the family wake up.

If anyone has any ideas of ways I can help him. It would be really appreciated.

BITCAT Mon 01-Aug-16 12:58:17

I would start by maybe putting a lock on your kitchen. I know it sounds drastic but in order to stop the eating of things without your knowledge then it needs doing.
My son is borderline aspergers..not been formally diagnosed yet but he will not touch any fruit or veg and freaks out over crisps. He is the opposite of your son..very very skinny we struggle to get him to eat even a decent sized meal. He is very impulsive. Can you consult a nutritionist?

BITCAT Mon 01-Aug-16 13:00:27

Oh and my sonephew used to steal chocolates and anything sweet so which moved it all into plastic draws in our bedroom so he only gets these when we say if he eats his meal. He used to fill up with these and not eat his meal.
I wish you luck it's extremely stressful.

BITCAT Mon 01-Aug-16 13:00:50

My son..stupid phone.

Bekksy Mon 01-Aug-16 20:47:54

Thanks Bitcat. the thing the kitchen is basically our access point to the house. I'll look at latches for a cupboard door and the fridge. We keep everything nice in our rooms.

We have done the diet assessments with his psychologist. He has a balanced diet (what we actually feed him) so the nutritionist is a but preaching to the converted. But resolving the anxiety and the need to be full all the time that is an issue.

I went to visit a friend today who is a SENCO who talked me down. So feeling a bit better. onwards and upwards smile

youarenotkiddingme Mon 01-Aug-16 21:04:01

Has he seen an OT? To look at sensory issues? Sometimes it's not knowing what full feels like, or its the chewing sensation (you can try chewing gum).

Sometimes as well its actually they are constipated due to low muscle tone and mistake the feeling for hunger. (This my DS!)

PolterGoose Mon 01-Aug-16 21:11:15

I was just thinking OT as I got to your post Youare grin

I wonder too if it's a sensory thing. I am autistic and have a lot of sensory issues and I had a realisation recently that when I am on a diet it affects me strangely, it's almost like eating provides internal deep pressure, that feeling of being full is like a calming hug.

You probably need to reduce your food stock, no snack foods, freeze as much as possible so it's not snack-friendly, feed decent high protein low-carb meals.

Sensory and tone issues can cause havoc with our basic physiological functions.

youarenotkiddingme Mon 01-Aug-16 22:05:34

Haha polter you've taught me well re OT's!

Another MN an parent told me about introseption (sp?) which is another sense related to food and bowels etc.

zzzzz Tue 02-Aug-16 05:55:08

Fitbit will help you see how much and the quality of the exercise he is really getting.

Stop having a baking cupboard and stop having sugar.

Exercise hard EVERY day not so much for calotype burning but because it will reduce his appetite.

Start pushing liquids (water) at least 2litres a day and always a glass BEFORE eating.

No snacking, have a drink instead.

Chew gum.

EXERCISE AND DIET CHANGE WITH HIM.

OneInEight Tue 02-Aug-16 07:51:09

First, I would go back to the GP to get tests to rule out any underlying medical cause for the weight gain. Prader Wilis syndrome (? spelling) springs to mind although this I think is associated also with learning difficulties but also things like low thyroxine etc. Of course if you have a GP like ours who thinks that poor parenting Aspergers Syndrome accounts for every ailment known to man it can be difficult to persuade them to look at other causes (can you tell we have had our own battles).

If this is ruled out then of course you then have to look at behavioural and psychological causes. This is going to sound stupid but have you asked him why he constantly needs to eat. Is he hungry all the time? Does it make him feel good? Is he frightened food will run out and has to stock up reserves now? Does he feel compelled to do so. I think how you would tackle it would be dependent on the answers to these questions. So if he is frightened food will run out locking it all away might not be the best strategy. If eating makes him feel good can you find a substitute activity that gives him an equivalent feeling and distracts him from raiding the fridge.

OneInEight Tue 02-Aug-16 09:29:20

Should have added that ds2 is very controlling about food and goes through phases of over-eating (nowhere near the extent of your son though) and under-eating. What helps him is reducing his anxiety levels. We took him out of school about ten months ago and the range of food he eats and appropriate quantity has improved greatly. Giving him choice and control (within reason) of what he eats also has helped. So whilst making sure you only have lower calorie / healthy stuff in the house you could try to give him choices about when or what to eat.

Ineedmorepatience Thu 04-Aug-16 17:54:48

I have just seen this, I have a Dd who is 13, she over eats and is over weight, she also has low muscle tone and hypermobility in all her joints so finding the right exercise for her has always been difficult.

She gets really stressed if she feels hungry, I think its a sensory thing too! We are working really hard to make our lives more active and to support her in her food choices! She has lots of eating/food rules and they are difficult to change.

I hope you can find some help soon.

Good luck flowers

Melawati Sat 06-Aug-16 00:19:53

DD has very similar issues and sees a specialist dietician. She's taking a whole family approach. It's essential to remove temptation - so that means no sugary snacks, ingredients etc in the house. All 'treats' to be consumed outside the house eg if you or your DP likes to eat chocolate/crisps/ cake have it at work or at a cafe, don't keep a stockpile hidden in the house as it enables the dishonesty. If there's nothing to steal from you, your DC can't steal.
She's also advocated building 'treats' into the routine - at the moment once a week and it's something that is agreed in advance (and not kept in the house).
In an ideal world, snack food wouldn't be viewed as a treat or reward, but as DD has already got strong associations with different types of food having meaning, changing her way of thinking will be a long haul.
The dietician also talked about the sensory issues around food that can go with ASD, and interestingly that sometimes the brain doesn't register certain foods and tastes, if it's looking for something else - eg in my DDs case if she hasn't had sugar, she feels like she hadn't eaten at all.
I was quite clued up about diet and nutrition, but this has really opened my eyes. I've known from when DD was tiny that sugar was like a drug to her, but as she's got older it's been harder and harder to regulate her diet and she ended up putting on 10kg in 4 months.
Also as mentioned above, increasing activity as part of your lifestyle (walking to school, doing things together) is very important.
Good luck, I know from experience how very hard this can be flowers

Cocoabutton Sat 06-Aug-16 22:53:36

Hello, I am in the initial assessment stages for Aspergers with DS and he also suffers anxiety and sensory issues. I also have concerns about his weight. He seems to have no concept of being full, and I am convinced it is sensory and maybe emotional.

I have tried low carb and low GI. At the moment, I am trying just healthy with lots of exercise. I was thinking about some kind of chew toy! And a weighted 'hug' blanket; as well as trying to work out what makes him feel secure other than food.

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