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Asd nine year old not drinking at school

(22 Posts)
colditz Tue 06-Nov-12 08:22:15

The kid seems to have a permanent headache/tummy ache. I do think this is down to not drinking enough.

I now make him drink two cups of squash before school, and a cup every hour until bedtime, which is another fur cups, but is this enough? And how can I get him to drink at school?

KeepOnKeepingOn1 Tue 06-Nov-12 09:34:50

DS1 would never drink at school. Combination of not knowing how to use the water dispenser and not being able to deal with the queueing, complicated rules about what the DC could drink, out of what sort of cup and when, and of course not wanting to use the toilet, and extreme passivity. He resolved it was easier not to drink at school.

Unfortunately could not control it when at school and staff thought I was mad as they could not imagine a child would not drink when thirsty. Also made sure he had fluid-containing snacks like fruit. Made sure he had plenty of fluids at home and took a bottle of water on school runs for the journey home.

bigbluebus Tue 06-Nov-12 09:45:20

We had the same problem with DS as he would not drink still water and that was all they were allowed to have at primary school. The did eventually allow us to put 'clear' flavourings into the water to encourage him to drink it but he still didn't drink very much.
Like your DS, mine often got headaches and my 1st response would always be to make him drink. Thankfully as he has got older he seems to have grasped the link between the headaches and dehydration. He is much better at drinking as there is more choice a Secondary school, but I am not convinced that he always has a drink during the day at school. But he survives and he is much better at helping himself to drinks at home and there is nothing like the lure of a vending machine full of fizzy drinks to encourage him when we are out!!!
I have to admit, that I have never been a big 'drinker' and can often get to late afternoon and realise that I have had nothing since breakfast.
I think the body learns to adjust to a certain extent. DD, who is tube fed, has very little in volume when compared to what medical text books recommend, but one day her Paediatrician added it up, looked horrified, then looked at DD and said, "well that's clearly enough for her, as she looks well on it".
So in answer to "is it enough?" I would say that if he is weeing enough and the headaches go with the amount you are giving him, and he doesn't look dehydrated - then yes it's enough.
How do you make him drink more at school? I'd say that is very difficult unless you have a willing TA who is prepared to encourage and reward him - and of course they allow him to drink squash at school!!

Pebbles69 Tue 06-Nov-12 09:58:28

My son (ASD 7) doesnt drink at school because he refuses to use the toilet at school. He ofte comes home complaining of a headache and I also worry that not only is it not healthy for him not to drink but to hold it in all day. He sometimes wets himself on the way home because he can not hold it in any longer and I really worry what effect it will have on him long term.

ThoughtBen10WasBadPokemonOMG Tue 06-Nov-12 10:01:25

<marking place>

Got a 7 year old doing the same

PolterGoose Tue 06-Nov-12 13:28:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EllenJaneisstillnotmyname Tue 06-Nov-12 13:30:39

What are the rules at his school? My DS is allowed a water bottle at his desk, or in his bag now he's at secondary school, it must be a plain bottle and water only. I've found that Robinson's apple and pear or lemon squash look just like water in one of the plastic translucent bottles, and he'll drink that, no problem. wink If anyone makes a fuss, I'll mention reasonable adjustments...

WilsonFrickett Tue 06-Nov-12 13:33:37

A flip-top bottle thingy that he could do by himself really helped us. He can't manage an ordinary bottle or anything like that - is that something you can discuss with school? If it's problems around how they drink or what from, giving him his own easy-to-use bottle would be a reasonable adjustment.

I give him a fruit smoothie thing in with lunch which has lots of water.

HerewardTheFake Tue 06-Nov-12 14:32:44

why is he not drinking at school?

doen't like water?
can't use water fountains?
can't unscrew the lid on his water bottle?
doesn't want to go to the toilet?
just forgets?
doesn't drink unless told to?

once you know why he won't drink then you can set about tackling it.

Strongecoffeeismydrug Tue 06-Nov-12 15:02:40

DS never drinks at school or eats,he just makes up for both when he gets home.cant say if he's getting enough but he looks well and has lots of energy so he must be.

Ineedalife Tue 06-Nov-12 15:14:57

2 of my Dd's are like this, only one has ASD.

They both hate toilets other than ours at home and this is the main reason that they limit their fluid intake at school.

Dd2 has improved slighlty as she has got older but suffers from constipation most of her life and I am sure it is related to her fluid intake.

Dd3 takes Asda Grape and peach squash in her bottle, it is almost clear and is they only squash she will drink.
She says she drinks water at school too but i dont know for certain.

I really dont know how to tackle this but am watching with interest because i think Dd3 is getting worse.

alison222 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:38:36

Ds is like this too. He is yr 7, and we had a problem all through primary. He hated the school toilets and his answer was not to drink so he didn't have to use them. In addition he doesn't register thirst signals or full bladder ones until it is almost too late.
he has had bladder infections as a result
He took a water bottle every day and a large carton of fruit juice for lunch. He mostly drank the juice, but the water was a struggle. The TA used to remind him to drink and so he would - a bit.
Over the summer he had another bad infection which had us in a&E and took 2 courses of very strong antibiotics to clear.
We got the doctor to write to the school making it very clear that they had to remind him to drink and that it was very bad for his health if he doesn't and also explaining he doesn't recognise when he is thirsty as a result of the ASD.
This does seem to have helped as I think secondary school think I am an over anxious parent, but they seemed to take the GP seriously.

colditz Tue 06-Nov-12 15:47:01

He says he doesn't feel thirsty. He remembered to have a drink because his friend, a very nice boy the same age, heard me telling him this morning and made him have a cup of water. He currently doesn't have a headache! This is an achievement.

I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't taken any notice of his fluid intake until recently because he's always drank loads throughout the day. Comes home with empty water bottles, not too fussy about what to drink ie happy with water. It's recent, I think. Also I think he just forgets.

WilsonFrickett Tue 06-Nov-12 15:55:10

If it's fairly recent then something has happened to stop him drinking as normal.

That's either something in the school environment - so you'll have to do a bit of detective work.

There's also tbh the possibility it's not connected with drinking at all and he's enjoying the attention he's getting from you. Two cups before breakfast and another four at night is a lot of what I would call 'control time' - time when you're on his agenda. Might be way off beam of course, but worth thinking about?

alison222 Tue 06-Nov-12 15:56:16

I think perhaps you can enlist a teacher or Ta to remind him regularly to have a drink of water.
If you explain why I am sure that they will try. You need to explain it doesn't matter if your DS says he isn't thirsty that he must drink and tell him to do so when told.

colditz Tue 06-Nov-12 16:17:26

No, he dislikes being the centre of my attention, and would like nothing more than to sit at the opposite end of the house, playing computer games.

I agree that something has happened, and actually I think I know what it is. We have quite a few electrical items in the living room, so I've banned drinks in the living room, because they do get knocked over. I make them a drink and it's on the kitchen table, for them to help themselves to.

Now, this means getting up and briefly moving away from the computer, which he really doesn't want to do, something I have noticed since instituting set drinking times. However, since I have instituted set drinking times, the headaches seem to have settled down.

WilsonFrickett Tue 06-Nov-12 17:34:03

So in school, he could be worried about knocking things over or expecting set drinking times, maybe???

colditz Tue 06-Nov-12 20:37:13

Maybe. I should mention he has ADHD as well, and is so easily distracted its untrue. I've just had to stand in the bathroom and tell him to brush his teeth at least ten times, no exaggeration. So if he's now out of the habit of drinking at school, it's going to be very difficult to get him back into it. If his lovely friend continues to get him a cup of water at lunchtime, that will sink in as the new routine.

Still no headache/tummy ache today. If it starts up again, I'll talk to the school about prompting him at break times.

colditz Tue 06-Nov-12 20:39:15

He doesn't get told off for knocking things over, he knows that everyone in this house can be clumsy, not just him. I don't take my own drinks in the living room now, because when I have a house rule, it really is a house rule, not just a children rule.

Ahhhhh god, try explaining the difference between house rules, children rules, dog rules, garden rules and shop rules to someone who doesn't live with a child with asd! grin

colditz Tue 06-Nov-12 20:41:08

He's moaning like hell that I am making him drink when he's not thirsty. But .... It's working. He clearly did need it, and I don't think I'm asking too much of him.

WilsonFrickett Tue 06-Nov-12 21:42:38

Not at all. I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it. Eventually grin

madwomanintheattic Tue 06-Nov-12 21:53:05

Christ, colditz, are you living with ds1?

Ah, no, he's nearly 11.

<marks place on thread>

Oh, mine doesn't eat at school either. And you want to see the mood he's in when he makes it home. <glowers>

And then the paed says helpful things like 'well, the meds might suppress his appetite'. How do you suppress no appetite? <boggles>

If I literally spend hours of a weekend doing the 'making food fun' thang, he will eat, and drink, and life is altogether more pleasant for both of us. It's one of the reasons I periodically consider HE, because he is overwhelmed by the school environment, and wired, that it doesn't occur to him to eat, or drink, (or pee, but let's not go there).

It is about setting new accepted routines, but how to instigate a routine when you aren't there? (And when the kid would literally rather pull his own tonsils out than interact with a teacher?)

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