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DS (4) with SPD and waiting on ASD dx will not eat lunch at school

(12 Posts)
turtle23 Tue 02-Oct-12 15:51:44

If anybody has any ideas as to how to get him to eat more than the 1-3 bites he currently has at school please share. We are on a gluten free diet and I am wasting a huge amount of money we do not have on lunchbox food.
I have asked school to help and they seem to think it will all work out. He is brought into lunch last as otherwise he will flip out about where he sits. I have made all of his favourite foods. I have made everything into shapes/colours, etc. I have bought him a transformers lunchbox. I know he suffers in the afternoon at school as he hasn't had enough to eat. I am wondering whether I just have to find someone to watch DS2 every day for a few weeks and go into school and make him eat.
Oh and today I broke his lunch into 4 little bits and said he could have a sticker for each bit he eats. He had one bite of a cracker.
Short of sitting with him myself I can only think he needs to be separated from the others...maybe ear defenders...I don't know...HELP!
(yes...he is hungry when he comes home)

Ineedalife Tue 02-Oct-12 16:04:40

Dd3 was the same, she just couldnt bare the noise, the smell and the dinner ladies lurking around her telling her to eat up.

At first she was vomitting at the thought of going in the hall so they bought her out and she sat in the classroom with 2 other children. After a couple of weeks she had a table just outside the hall which was gradually moved closer to the doors. It took till xmas to get her in the hall and the school handled really well[they were crap with everything else] but they didnt want me to take her home for lunch so they had to do something.

She didnt actually eat anything in reception at all other than a nibble of a sandwich. I used to pack her lunch everyday and she used to eat it on the way home, she would be starving!

I think you need to make an appointment with the SENCO and find out how they are going to help himsad

turtle23 Tue 02-Oct-12 16:10:12

Thanks, ineedalife. The problem lies in the waiting for assessment bit. They have been more than happy to refer hi for behavioural therapy but as he hasn't been seen by the regional relevant people we have to wait a bit. I feel I am being fobbed off a bit until they can get a statement from whoever...but the problem with feeding him after school is that he then won't eat dinner. I have started cooking him whatever he wants for breakfast and going back to full on roast dinners until they can help. He is uber sensitive to breaks in routine and I just worry that going to the lunchroom and not eating will be the routine he sticks to if that makes sense. Sorry...my head is spinning today. I am sure I am making no sense.

Strongecoffeeismydrug Tue 02-Oct-12 16:40:20

DS hasn't eaten more than a few bites of his lunch at school for over a year too..his new school are on board tho but even they can't get him to eat.
He does make up for it at breakfast,tea and supper tho dap I'm not too concerned just yet.
The puzzling thing for us is he will happily go into the lunch hall or Sit with his class at snack time,he's not distressed or anxious he just refuses to eat.

Ineedalife Tue 02-Oct-12 16:40:25

You are making perfect sense,

I used to find that Dd3 would still eat dinner because what she ate on the way home wasnt enough to fill her up. She would literally be in the cupboards when we got home even though she had eaten her lunch 10 minutes before.

We had very little support for any of her issues due to her having no dx until last year.She has ASD. She has just gone into yr5 now and we had to move her to another school in the end.

I know what you mean about him getting into the routine of not eating and TBH it has taken a long time for us to get Dd3 to the point she is at now.

She is now able to eat a cooked lunch at school and she doesnt panic if there is a change on the menu. She has some weird combinations and most of it is beige but hey compared to where she started from she has done really well.

Try to be kind to yourself, keep chasing up referrals and appointments and feed him at home if necessary. Starting school is a massive thing for any child but for those with sensory issues it is sometimes just too much to cope with.

Keep coming on here for more support and advicesmile

turtle23 Tue 02-Oct-12 17:05:07

His school are mostly on board. His two teachers and CA's are amazing. But I am feeling so frustrated and down at the moment I am thinking I will just give him a snack for lunch and ask them to give him an extra snack at 130 or so.
I had the brilliant idea of sewing legos into his school shirt this morning as fidget toys. He has just appeared with a school shirt that has a massive hole and a handful of legos. I think I may be losing my mind.

Ineedalife Tue 02-Oct-12 19:06:48

LMAO @ the sewn in lego.

I dont think its madness I think its resourcefullgrin

LadySybildeChocolate Tue 02-Oct-12 19:09:29

Are you able to take him home for lunch? If not, you need to ask the school if there's a quiet room that he can go to. I imagine the noise and the bustle of a lunch hall isn't helping him.

porridgelover Tue 02-Oct-12 22:14:14

Turtle, is he generally fussy about food or is the issue the environment he is eating in at school? And can he tell you why it is that he doesnt eat? Would extra fidgets during lunch help him?

I am just trying to brainstorm, as I would have gone through this with DS too. Now, although a very fussy eater, he is OK at school (has had the exact same lunch daily for the last 3 years; no variation). But I too was worried that his 'routine' would become 'not eating'.

Could you do a social story about lunch time for him? And reward everything that he does achieve? Sorry if I am pointing out what you've already tried.

turtle23 Wed 03-Oct-12 08:28:59

Don't apologise...I appreciate the ideas. He isn't horribly fussy but will not eat certain textures or things with sloppy sauces/soup.
They have done a social story about his day, about his lunch, a picture of where he sits...etc. If he is at home and not distracted he is a slow eater but will eat.
He says he isn't eating because he is not hungry but when he gets home he is really hungry.
I am going to ask school today if it is possible for him to have a reward chart discreetly hidden in his bookbag which has lunch broken down into small achievements. Will also ask if he can be separated for a while til he gets used to lunch there. He did lunch at preschool twice a week last year and would always eat....

porridgelover Wed 03-Oct-12 12:06:31

Another thought then....my DS is also a veeerrrryyy slow eater (quite frustrating at times). Even now there are days that he comes home with an almost intact lunch. When I ask he tells me he didnt have time to eat.....would your DS feel under time pressure to get it eaten? If he's like my DS he wont react well to that and mine would rather refuse then fail IYKWIM?

imawigglyworm Wed 03-Oct-12 14:17:49

Seperating him sounds like a good plan.
sounds silly (am new to SPD so still trying to figure things out too) but would headphones (with or without music) work to block out the noise if its distracting him he might be able to concentrate on eating a little more if all the chaos of the other kids is blocked out a bit? doesnt have to be music either maybe nature sounds or a story? Obviously you know what suits/works for your Dc, it might end up stressing him more.
Good luck

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