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Stressful teatime again

(19 Posts)
dietstartstmoz Sun 02-Jan-11 19:31:22

had a fairly good day, DS2 been quite good, then again comes teatime, trying to get him to eat anything, him screaming and crying, he's tired but will not have a nap in the day, then cries continually and says he wants to sit on the naughty step, just because we are trying to cajole him to eat, we end up feeding him because he won't eat himself, DH loses his temper with him because of the usual screaming crying and I end up taking him for bath and he's now in bed. Why can't we just have a meal in peace for god's sake without it being a battle every night. DS2 would happily eat nothing. No dx yet, waiting to see paed next week but think is may be ASD. Now feel v pissed off with myself and DH and guily cos he's gone to bed with an empty tummy-again!! Argh! He's 3.4 and hard work, like all 3 yr olds but I can't do it every day.

woolyxmastree Sun 02-Jan-11 19:58:42

Are there any foods he will eat?? At the ASD workshop we were told if so let them eat what they will for now, often they can build the battle of food refusal in to the routine, or have sensory issues maybe?

At the min my DD aged 5 ASD hates the texture of potato products and only eats ham or peanut butter sandwiches at lunchtime, cut into 4 and they must be squares not triangles as squares have 4 sides, she only drinks red juice or mango smoothies. If she is fed something else at lunchtime she still expects the sandwich too as that is lunch....its took us a long time with certain foods and we use a visual support to decide/choose what we will eat along with some negotiation ...4 more mouthfulls etc. But my DD over eats rather than refuses but can obsess over foods.

All I can say is try to remove the battle, leave food out to explore textures and pick at...posative praise, it may even be the sitting still that stresses him??? Every child is different so I may be very wrong but just throwing some ideas at you.


dietstartstmoz Sun 02-Jan-11 20:08:33

He is very limited in his foods, so is living on sausage, and it was sausage tonight for him, but he just refuses. I think the main issue is sitting down to eat, the rest of us sit down to eat, and we want to encourage DS2 to eat as he is due to start school in sept (but that's another worry), and i can't imagine anyone will feed him. Even at lunchtime I have to pick the sandwich, crackers etc up and put them in his mouth and he will bite them and eat but can't put food into his own mouth-unless it's crisps or chocolate. It's just so bloody hard some days, and I don't know what to do for the best.

Spinkle Sun 02-Jan-11 20:29:43

My DS cannot cope with sitting with us to eat. He finds it terribly stressful. He pretty lives off bread and butter. We now let him have a picnic in front of the telly. Not ideal but his stress levels have reduced enough for him to try other foods e.g pancakes, crumpets, nuggets etc. No, not the healthiest of diets I agree. But we have a much less anxious kid.

It's not what I wanted from family life but tell myself that normal rules do not apply with asd kids.

Btw my son displayed exactly the same behaviour at the table. Pick your battles - decide if you think it's worth the fight.

intothewest Sun 02-Jan-11 23:21:01

yeah,pick your battles- my ds is loads better now ,but used to have major issues- some of it control,some of it texture etc-It was difficult to figure out what the problem was sometimes- you may have to try various strategies;first of all(and the hardest) back off a little- imagine all the stress that is happening at mealtimes and what that may do to appetite- you are right,normal rules do not apply- I would suggest for the time being that either you OR your dh tries to help him at mealtimes,because both can be overload (especially if you have different ideas....not speaking personally then....biscuit)try to get him to sample lots of different tastes and textures without expecting him to actually eat them- and maybe set up a little table in the same room where he can sit,so he's with you,but has his own space- good luck

zzzzz Sun 02-Jan-11 23:34:44

On the trying to get him to feed himself thing, you might try holding his hands to the sandwich/spoon/sausage/fork, don't discuss it and if he pulls away let him but do it again for the next mouthful [or just for the first few and then feed him whatever works]. Once he will do this start letting go but the trick is to act like none of you have noticed it's just you were distracted for a bit. If you are lucky in a week or so he will eat if you start him off....then you say "use your hands" or "use your spoon" while you start him off for a bit, then you stop starting him of but do the verbal prompt.
It worked for us and was really helpful for starting writing [though I would have been gob smacked at 3 if you'd told me I would be writing that sentence!].grin
Don't let yourself fall into the feeling that things won't improve, they will. Go slowly, love him, fighting over food is impossible and you need to get dh to get that too.

At 3 if he really won't sit down you could concider a highchair, I would go that way before a seperate table as it is easier to work back from.

woolyxmastree Sun 02-Jan-11 23:57:42

Have you thought of a wobble cushion? Not sure if thats the right name but Ive seen them mentioned on here. Help with sitting. Also the phsychologist mentioned that some kids find it un nerving to have dangling feet as it gives them no base so a footstool or child sized chair can help. DD sits at her own kiddy chair happily although she rocks it a lot.

Verbal stuff really upsets my DD so you could try keeping language minimal and lots of smiley faces. Less reaction makes processing easier. Good luck.

DD loves sausages too.

dietstartstmoz Mon 03-Jan-11 08:02:52

Thanks, will try some of the points mentioned above. DS normally gets his own way with everything at the moment, as we don't think he comprehends more complicated things we tell him, and we just give in to him for an easier life. I'm a firm believer in picking my battles, and I don't want this to be a battle at all, as it's not important is it? He won't starve himself and he will eat what he wants to, I think our stress levels are through the roof at the moment with one thing and another and we have our assessment with the paed next week for both DS1 and DS2, so that is really hanging over us. I am determined that we will have a positive day today, no battles!

FanjoForTheMincePies Mon 03-Jan-11 08:08:40

I would take a step back,my DD is 4 and has ASD traits and doesn't want to eat at every meal. Since she is growing well I never make it an issue. In fact now I usually place food in front of her and she is starting to get quite greedy. I'm sure this is because I haven't made food into a battleground, because she is/was fussy.

FanjoForTheMincePies Mon 03-Jan-11 08:11:33

She also sits in a booster seat, which keeps her at the table. But if she refuses food/turns away I just let her down. She only eats a good meal about half the time,but I think her appetite just varies. If I was to try to force her to eat I am SURE I would have the bagels you are having. So try to relax,not easy though, I know.

FanjoForTheMincePies Mon 03-Jan-11 08:12:06

Bagels=battles, stupid autocorrect!

dietstartstmoz Mon 03-Jan-11 08:28:01

LOL fanjo, don't know if he likes bagels!
Thanks, he has a booster seat at the dinner table and we try and sit together as often as we can, the DS's have a little kids table and chairs, which they usually prefer to be in front of the TV but Ds2 just wanders as there are so many toys in there. Will try and relax a bit and see how much he eats himself over the next week, until we see the paed.

LeninGrad Mon 03-Jan-11 08:42:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

zzzzz Mon 03-Jan-11 11:03:12

How funny aboutthe potatoe thing....maybe it's a theme because mine will only take it in the form of chips ahhhhhhh!blush

borderslass Mon 03-Jan-11 12:24:07

When DS[16] was younger he lived on chicken pasties from local bakers, tangerines and cheerios that was it.He only started eating other foods at about 10 and only in the last 2 years has he started eating 'normal foods'
When he was younger he ate in the living room on his own even, in school he was allowed to eat on his own in the kitchen now he just takes his meal to his room.

dietstartstmoz Mon 03-Jan-11 19:15:40

Tonight much easier, they ate their dinner on kids table and chairs in front of TV, DS2 wandered around but kept eating his pasta so no major incidents tonight-phew!

zzzzz Mon 03-Jan-11 19:56:56

Well done. grin

woolyxmastree Mon 03-Jan-11 22:33:55

Great, glad it went better.
I managed to get DD to eat 4 potato letters today with alphabetti spaghetti but Im sure she is more reluctant when she is tired and she was pretty relaxed. She started leaving chips!!!...unless they are from the chip shop! lol.

woolyxmastree Mon 03-Jan-11 22:37:21

...Oh and DD will eat at school but after a week hated school dinners as she saw the slops bin and the smell in the dinning room was too much so we stick to a packed lunch. Although for an unknown reason they let her try dinners again without my permission...which she didnt like so had three bowls of custard! shock I had words.

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