Teacher concerned DS is too skinny

(146 Posts)
confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:26:49

Today after school, the Senco/deputy head, who works closely with my SEN DS, came up to me & said she & class TA thought DS2 had lost weight.

He is & looks very skinny & always has been. Even when he had toddler chub he looked like an average-sized child & not chubby iyswim. He is 10 & 2 months. Is 140cm (measured him last week). I have just put away 8-9 tshirts as they were getting too short. Shorts he is in 8-9/9-10, trousers 9-10. We have to pull the waist right in on most things. Haven't weighed him in ages. I'm pretty sure he grew 5cm in the last couple of weeks as he was shorter than friend's daughter but now bit taller. Even his feet are small & skinny, he has just gone into size 2 & is a D/E width.

He did have one day in the week before half term where he was sent home from school because he was so tired he kept bursting into tears. This was following a long bike ride & later than usual bedtime with Cubs & also everybody was tired as end of half term. Also it takes him a lot of effort to settle into things as he has autism. Since then he has been fine & teacher said he has been full of beans since going back.

His diet is very good. He eats absolutely everything except about 5 things (lettuce, gherkins, olives, raw carrots & brussel sprouts) & always has. He has what I consider to be decent portions. For school lunch I give him slightly less at the teacher's request because he takes a long time to eat it. But he eats plenty at home. He will often choose fruit as a treat rather than cake/biscuit/sweets etc.

I have also noticed that he has started to grow a few hairs in the pubic region, so don't know if this is the start of puberty & if so would that have an effect? Ds1 was a bit later, about 11 for the same thing.

DH (his dad) is also on the skinny side & always has been. He is 6'2 & about 11.5 stone, just gone into 32" waist trousers (at age 44) as his 30" are too tight to sit down comfortably in (he has noticeably developed a little paunch, he is studying FT & not moving about much).

So, bearing all that in mind, which is a lot, I know, what should I do? Should I start giving him more food in his lunchbox? Offer extra snacks or more fattening snacks? Something else? He has a multivitamin with Omega 3 daily. I'm wary of feeding too many unhealthy (especially processed) foods unnecessarily because I believe that they are not good for you & weight isn't the only indicator of health. But maybe I'm mistaken.

Sorry for rambling on but it has been an emotional day & this has really worried me.

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dementedpixie Thu 10-Jun-21 16:29:14

Have you put his details into the nhs bmi check thing for children?

RestingPandaFace Thu 10-Jun-21 16:30:24

First question - is he too skinny or is it just their opinion? What is his BMI, and what does your GP think?

confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:34:00

We don't have scales in the house so don't really weigh him or any of the DC. I could take him round to my parents' house & use their scales. He is certainly the slimmest boy in his year at school (60 DC).

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confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:34:53

We haven't seen a GP with him in ages as we have not had a need to. He is very healthy, aside the odd cold.

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riotlady Thu 10-Jun-21 16:34:57

Yes I would check his BMI and then talk to the doctor if he is genuinely underweight. It might just be that he’s had a growth spurt and stretched out a bit rather than having lost weight.

What’s his drinking and weeing like? Just thinking that tiredness and weight loss can be signs of T1 diabetes

ifigoup Thu 10-Jun-21 16:35:26

I think this is one of those things where they have to flag it, because sadly some kids do get underfed at home, have eating disorders etc. It doesn’t sound like that’s the case for your son, but the school have a duty of care to check in with you.

Given what you say about his dad it sounds as if this is likely to be normal for him, and kids at this age often do look a bit skinny and overgrown if they’ve just shot up.

Maybe it would be worth talking to the GP - not least because of the school become difficult about it, it’s good to be able to say your DS’s doctor has no concerns.

It’s great that he’s not a fussy eater, so if he eats slowly maybe it’s just a case of giving him slightly more calorie-dense foods while he’s going through this growth spurt.


RestingPandaFace Thu 10-Jun-21 16:35:41

That’s got to be your starting point. Once you have weight you can work out BMI (I know it’s not perfect but it’s a starting point)

Cattitudes Thu 10-Jun-21 16:36:18

Children do tend to go out then up and out then up around this age with puberty plus so many children are overweight, that it is easy to think that is the norm. I would weigh him and check bmi for his age and height before going to GP if he seems underweight.

Bksjshsbbev2737 Thu 10-Jun-21 16:36:36

Has the school nurse seen him and said if he’s underweight? Or have you checked online?
If you aren’t worried and feel he eats enough then I wouldn’t immediately change his diet based on a teacher thinking that; weigh him today then in another 2 weeks and see how his weight progresses.

confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:37:39

He drinks a good amount at home. Half water/half juice in the morning plus semi-skimmed milk on cereal, squash with dinner, milk at bedtime, water the rest of the time. Often a hot chocolate or hm banana milkshake (banana & milk). Weeing is no more or less than the other Dses so I would say average. Pale yellow to clear ok colour.

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Bluntness100 Thu 10-Jun-21 16:37:53

You need to weigh him op, if you need to pull the wait in on his clothes then they are far too big for him on the waist.

covidandborisandworld Thu 10-Jun-21 16:37:53

My dd was always super slim. She takes after her dad too. She was on 2nd percentile always
She is now 15 and filled out. Not fat but has bum thighs etc

I wouldn't be overly worried but worth a check.

Chilver Thu 10-Jun-21 16:38:33

ONe thing that stood out is that you said the school asked for you to give him less in his lunchbox. Does the weight loss coincide with that? Maybe making up for it at home isn't enough and he needs more lunch (no matter how long it takes him to eat it!)?

Turquoisesea Thu 10-Jun-21 16:40:07

My DS is 16 and very slim and always has been, he’s not even on the chart for weight but I’m not worried as he has always been this way, he eats enough and has a varied diet. I do give him lots of high fat things as he’s so slim so he drinks full fat milk still and has plenty of ‘treat’ type food as well as his meals too. My DH is also very slim, 5ft 10 and 9 stone 10 so he takes after him. If your DS has recently had a growth spurt it has perhaps made it more noticeable. On a separate note though I have a friend whose DD is incredibly slim and looks quite gaunt in the face (which my DS doesn’t). My friend always says she eats plenty but when I see what she eats it’s nearly all stuff with zero fat in it, so lots of fruit and veg but no cheese, milk etc and certainly noting IMO that would help but weight on. If you are worried though maybe take him to the Drs to get him checked over.

Howmanysleepsnow Thu 10-Jun-21 16:41:13

My ds is the same height and clothes size. He eats non-stop, he’s just naturally skinny. Has your ds lost weight (have his trousers got looser?) or has he just grown so his proportions have changed?
If the latter I wouldn’t worry, just let him eat until he’s full and snack when hungry. If he’s actually lost weight I’d seek medical advice.

confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:42:53

His senco did also say she is confident we are not under feeding him. For one thing the school have know us as a family for 6 years & all 3 of our DSes. Also, DS2 wants to be a chef & is obsessed with food. He tells them in detail what he had to eat each day as well as his dream dishes for a restaurant when he grows up blush He has autism & can get obsessive, this has always been his thing.

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4bluebabies Thu 10-Jun-21 16:45:36

I’m not sure the school should be telling you to give him less food at lunch time OP . I would ignore that or try and give more calorific food at lunchtime .

5 cm growth in a matter of weeks is a lot and would understandably cause tiredness and maybe make him look thinner . My boy who’s a couple of years older has just shot up an inch in a month … I realised as he was tired and looked a bit peaky . I’ve started giving my son extras ( he doesn’t ask for more outside mealtimes )

Naughty1205 Thu 10-Jun-21 16:45:54

Op sounds like you are on top of it, he has a great diet, wee good colour etc. Honestly, I know a good few kids (dd is 10) who are very thin but it's because their parents are tiny or petite. Are you petite? I know some 10 year olds who need to wear the trousers with the adjustable waist really small.
It could be hormone related, or has he enough iron? Might be no harm to get his bloods checked. My dd is exhausted coming up to the end of the school year. Best of luck.

confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:46:32

I actually thought he had put on weight as any trousers you couldn't pull in used to fall down on him, but now they stay up, especially if he tucks his tshirt in (they would still fall down before).

He has always had to take a smaller lunch as he was taking too long to eat, getting upset & not having much time in the playground, meaning he didn't get much opportunity to join in games. They were trying to encourage this because of the autism & his social development.

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confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:47:59

I wish I was petite! I used to be as a child. Now 5'7" (reached at 11) & a buxom size 16 on a good day blush

OP’s posts: |
Gettingthereslowly2020 Thu 10-Jun-21 16:49:02


He drinks a good amount at home. Half water/half juice in the morning plus semi-skimmed milk on cereal, squash with dinner, milk at bedtime, water the rest of the time. Often a hot chocolate or hm banana milkshake (banana & milk). Weeing is no more or less than the other Dses so I would say average. Pale yellow to clear ok colour.

Can you make small changes to his diet like switching from semi-skimmed milk to full fat milk and more fatty foods?

confusedofengland Thu 10-Jun-21 16:50:31

Yes, good idea gettingthere. When we visit my parents my dad makes milkshakes with ice cream & chocolate powder which he loves so I can do that.

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Calmdown14 Thu 10-Jun-21 16:51:51

It would do no harm to phone your GP and the fact school have flagged it makes it easier.
It could be that either the teacher or TA have experience of type one diabetes and are hot on possible signs as it doesn't sound like they are worried about how you feed him.
Chances are it's just a growth spurt but for the sake of a quick test, probably best to be on the safe side

Charliebradbury Thu 10-Jun-21 16:53:46

My dd is slim and has been since a baby. She isn't underweight but it is noticeable at school compared to the other children. She had a growth spurt over Christmas and did look skinnier for a while then she filled out again. Her dad is the same as your dh tall and skinny. We often joke that there isn't much difference in our weight but a whole lot (1ft) I'm our height. Check his weight but I wouldn't be too concerned tbh.

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