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My aspergers DS is very obese - I need help :((17 Posts)
I know this is my fault - I have tried to do something about his weight but it has been a difficult year.
DS is 8 (9 next month), is 138cm tall and weighs 8.5 stone
Please don't flame me I know how bad this is.
He is OBSESSED with food. Along with computers it is the thing he thinks/talks about the most. He loves eating and loves to eat large amounts. He was always a bit chunky and we kept an eye on it but in the last 2 years it has gotten extreme. Last year DH and I were refurbishing our house as we needed more space and couldn't afford to have the builders do anymore than the foundations/brickwork. It was very stressful and took a lot of time - both DC spent a lot of time playing together and using the PC at weekends. So he has been very inactive.
He was diagnosed ASD in Oct and was also diagnosed earlier in the year with dyspraxia. He struggles with sports and hates doing group activities (they make him anxious). He just wants to eat and play on the PC.
I get him out walking the dog each day but she only walks 30 mins a day and slowly (bulldog) so it isn't making any difference. Everything else he moans and whines and has meltdowns over (swimming classes, ju jitsu classes etc).
I limit his snacks but he does sneak food if I'm not looking. He has meltdowns over food and how much I let him eat.
Last year was so stressful I feel like I almost gave up. So yes I have done this. I do feed him healthy food but the portion sizes are too big. He still says he is hungry even after that though. He is always hungry.
My MIL has been saying for a while that I need to do something which is upsetting but today my parents pulled me aside for a conversation. I found this very upsetting as my own relationship with my parents was very difficult as I was a slightly chubby kid and from the age of 11 until I had my kids at 25 they nagged and shamed me about my weight constantly (bribing me with money, saying they were embarrassed by me etc). Now they are saying how worried they are about DS and I know they restricted food and weighed him this weekend (DC stayed with them as we were at a wedding). So this has bought up past issues for me and I have spent several hours today crying.
The fact is I don't know what to do - I am torn between trying my best to change his diet and exercise with all the difficulty that comes with that and damaging his self esteem by just saying look you are fat we need to sort it.
He clearly needs to lose weight not just maintain until he grows as he is too big.
Where can I get help - I can't find anything in my area? Do I go to the GP? But then I will need to take DS and possibly make him feel like shit when I say to the doc my child is very fat
Any ideas appreciated. Thank you xx
I do also have a daughter who is well within the normal weight (very slim at 145cm and weighs just under 5 stone). So I don't feel like I have forced this weight on him by the way. But yes I am obese myself. DH is slim though.
I think you need to see your GP. Maybe say to your DS that it is for a standard health check up. My DS, although now a teenager, has started to pile on weight as he dislikes walking and rarely leaves his room. I am trying to limit unhealthy food and snacks but it can be a battle
I was overweight myself but have lost 3.5 stones in the last 6 months by joining a local Slimming World club. Some children go there with their parents for a weigh but don't stay for the whole group talk. Would something like that maybe help?
Maybe but I think they have to be over 10 to go to a slimming club. Yes I will book a GP appt tomorrow. Thanks
Sorry, just realised there is a limit of 11+. It could help you though to get some healthy meal ideas and give you some 'me time' maybe. I cook a lot healthier now and although DS can be quite rude about my recipes he always ends up eating the meals and saying afterwards that he liked them.
I think it will be easy to get DS to eat healthy food - as I say the food I give him is pretty healthy and he loves his veg. Portion size and snacking is the main issue. He also has school dinners so I'm wondering if I should swap to packed lunch so I have more control?
Can you book a telephone appointment? That's what I do for things I don't want to discuss in front of ds and it usually works well.
I could do that I guess - I didn't realise such a thing existed to be honest! I do wonder whether they will want to weigh him and do checks like blood pressure, diabetes etc? Or is he too young for all that?
School nurses can also help - you can self refer . Your school will have their contact details . They also In our area Use a healthy eating / activity team funded by local authority .
As in a school nurse who works in the school or are there just some who work for the LEA? I know there is no nurse at the DC school as the staff deal with first aid etc. I have been trying to find something re healthy eating in the area but the only thing I can find is for under 5 year olds.
Most school nurses in a central base and are allocated set schools . (In my local counties anyway)
Schools should have their details , as all are visited by the nurses for imms /weight checks etc.
I guess all areas different , but may be worth a shot .
Alive and Kicking is the programme followed round here . Think it has a website you could try .
Ooh Alive and Kicking runs in the borough he goes to school in! We don't live in the borough (just over the boundary) but worth a shot - thank you
I had this with my asd ds. If it didn't move fast enough then he'd eat it. He even asked if we could eat the pet rabbit after it had died. He also refused any sports and the weight really piled on.
I didn't do a big talk with him, just suggested that we all as a family needed to eat better. I don't buy any junk food now. He can eat whatever fruit and veg in the house when he wants. I usually portion out dips and crudités or rice cakes for after school snacks as he would sit and eat the lot. He does have a packed lunch but that's because of he is funny about food prepared by anyone else.
For exercise I first brought him a scooter and then a bike. It took ages for him to get the hang of it but now he nags me to go out. He also started secondary school and to everyone's surprise fell in love with rugby and joined the school team (although he still refuses to join a weekend club too).
My aim wasn't for him to lose weight per se but rather to not put anymore on. The reasoning being that he will even out as he shoots up and it's actually working out quite well. I don't know how much he weighs as I've never weighed him but he is a lot less rotund then he was when he was younger.
It was trial and error though. I tried loads of extra curricular activities before he found which ones he liked.
Best of luck
Well I cut down on his portion sizes this week and added lots of veg and fruit plus we didn't eat out which we do a fair amount. Also got in more activity. He lost 5 pounds! Not sure if that is ok but he is very obese... anyway I went to GP who gave some advice and he is going to start Alive N Kicking next Saturday so I will chat to them to make sure eveyrthing I am doing is ok. I haven't put him on a diet just feeding him the amount he should really be eating and discouraging his obsessive snacking. It has actually been ok. He knows he needs to lose some weight and is pretty matter of fact about it. Good thing about aspergers is he doesn't get so emotional about stuff like this.
If he loves being on his computer, how about a wii fit???
Dyspraxic ds1 has always been a bit overweight and inactive and loved snacking - I discovered that he really likes chewing things or the activity of drinking - substituting lots of apples and mineral water or drinks with straws satisfied that compulsion to puts things in his mouth. He regularily chewed his sleeves and collars, so finding food that took a long time to chew helped. Whereas things like toast and bread and biscuits was chewing with calories!
Ds also needed a protein rich diet, the more high quality protein I gave him like lean fish or meat or chicken the more satisfied he was after a meal and less likely to need lots of carbs. I also avoided sugar free drinks with sweeteners - that tended to skew his insulin and make him crave more sweet things long term.
Swimming didn't really help him keep fit, although scrambling in and out of the pool was of course good exercise, it is possible just to bob around not doing much which is what ds did sadly - you have to get them kicking their legs for it to be exercise. Walking to and from school, going on hikes with other classmates, errands on foot have been the best exercise for ds - it is has been very difficult to get him to do any sport as he is so dyspraxic and he tended to give up. Whereas a walk has a goal, if it is the right sort of walk, and not entirely pointless to the child, and even unfit people can usually walk a short distance and build up the pace slowly but surely.
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