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High functioning ASD Ds (11) refusing to eat(13 Posts)
So since going back after the Easter hols, DS has further reduced his food intake and has been obviously, generally anxious almost 24/7.
Usually his anxiety goes in peaks and troughs and with some some rational thinking between each, however, he is constantly in anxious mode and since having his hair cut (by me) today, is refusing to eat.
So today, he has eaten breakfast (Coco Pop Rocks), then at the cinema before lunch he had some Skittles and Sprite.
For lunch on the way home, I let him have n nuggets and fries but didn't eat them.
Since then, he has refused to eat.....as well as being upset about having his hair cut, he just lacks any enthusiasm about what to eat.
If you asked me what meals he eats, I'd currently say none. There are foods he chooses to eat but nothing that I would call a typical 'meal'.
Any ideas as to how to get him to widen his food selection that I've not already tried? It seems he just can't be bothered to eat. He is tall enough (154cm and he weighs about 4 st 7lbs.
Lots of us here have children with very restricted diets and use all sorts of ways to maximise nutrition. Can you list what he eats and maybe we can help? It's impossible to make suggestions without knowing the extent of his diet.
This is typical of the past two weeks.....he hasn't been this restrictive for quite a long time.
For brekkie it's always a chocolate based cereal.....although I try to get Weetos into him as I think they're probably better than some others. Occasionally slice of toast (white, not golden) with butter on.
Lunch on a school day is half a Nutella sandwich a Kitkat and bottle of water (drinks half). He won't even eat an apple at school.
Tea is something like:
Cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, potato waffle or cheese potato with salami or a few tiny pieces of roast lamb.
chicken super noodles.
Cooked and raw carrots
Heinz tomato soup
Bread and butter sometimes
Poached egg white sometimes
Spag bolognase every now and then.
French fries sometimes
Vanilla ice cream
That's a fairly balanced diet, and I don't want to do food refusal top trumps, but I'd be thrilled if my ds ate as broad a diet as that.
My ds doesn't eat any 'meals', I just try to provide a balance of what he will eat and not make it stressful for him.
I'm guessing you probably need to focus on calorie intake right now, full fat milk, brioche instead of bread, home made custard with cream and egg yolks?
Some of that doesn't seem too bad - well compared to my ds anyway, who is 4 and eats solely bread and ice lollies. Nothing else, ever. We saw a dietician this week and because his weight and height is strangely where it should be (!) she actually wasn't worried and prescribed an iron supplement and some special vitamins and minerals only available on prescription. Generally the advice we have been given is to not make any issue of eating at all and just regularly offer what they will eat together with something they might. If they don't it really doesn't matter, you don't want to create any negativity about food. I don't know if that helps at all but I just wanted to let you know the list of things your son isn't eats isn't too bad in terms of restrictive diets so don't feel too bad.
Yes, brioche is another good idea. He did eat them until fairly recently.
I guess he is anxious about school and SATS and this comes out as holding power over his eating as its his way of controlling his world and lowering his anxiety.
All still very stressful though. He actually had stomach cramps this afternoon from weeks of not eating enough I believe. He was actually feeling the consequences of not eating enough calories for days at a time.
It is very upsetting my ds suffers from hunger at times - he will wake in the night very upset and not be able to articulate it as hunger but certainly we now recognise that's what is going on. It's very difficult when he's the one who isn't letting himself eat! The only way we've been able to get round it is by letting him have whatever he will eat whenever he wants it - today he had 3 ice lollies for breakfast and 4 slices of bread! Other people would be horrified by his diet but sometimes you just have to go with what they will eat (or not). It doesn't stop the worrying though.
Yes, it's so worrying fairy and I really worry about him not getting enough of the right minerals and vitamins. At least he drinks milk so he is getting calcium and protein......although not sure he will be absorbing the calcium properly.
He doesn't have great teeth and I read some research that said if they eat enough and chew, they won't produce saliva and then will be prime to cavities. I think that's definitely what's happened. He always has a very dry mouth.
What would happen if you didn't offer him food, but left food available that he'd eat for him to select?
If he's anxious, I'm just wondering if there's some demand avoidance tied in there. When DS1 is refusing (thankfully, no longer as bad as your DS), you can't offer him anything without him saying it's wrong, but left to it, he'll cave, even if it's just to grab a handful of crappy biscuits or pinch the crust off the fresh breadmaker loaf.
Though that can be counterproductive and is normally saved for those times when there's no point pushing him. Most days, making sure he doesn't get too hungry is about the best way of ensuring that he'll eat. Also offering him the chance to eat before everyone else, so he doesn't feel pressurised by the concept of (shite) family mealtimes.
Eating together isn't an issue as we rarely do it anymore.
I don't leave food out or he will say it has germs. Unless it's wrapped in a packet.
He is just point blank refusing to eat. He says he is starving himself so he dies.
Saying he is starving himself so he dies sounds alarmingly like acting on suicidal thoughts. I think you need to take him to the doctor, to talk about his feelings and get a referral to camhs.
He says those sorts of things a lot. He has seen CAHMS before......before ASD diagnosis. Their help? Giving me the name two books off amazon. That's it.
His harming threats are related to times of high anxiety. He tries to,manipulate situations to lower his anxiety.
Your list is good, in that it looks like a good variety of textures temps and rich in nutrients. (In the scheme of things obviously).
I would focus on water/liquids and ignore the food issue all together and just keep on providing what he WILL eat.
Go to the dentist about his teeth and tell them to be more proactive about saving them. The BIGGEST concern I would have is the cavities. Pain/infection will have a HUGE impact on diet/well being.
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