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Am I giving DD "too much power"?
64

Lem0ndrizzl3 · 06/08/2022 13:29

DD is 4 and autistic. She's always been a fruit and vegetable lover so it was never an issue getting her 5 a day, but up until recently she would barely eat anything at mealtimes other than chicken nuggets, plain pasta or pizza. She had extreme texture issues so any attempt at adding new foods in would cause her to spiral.

It upset me how bland her diet was but due to my own health issues and just generally being exhausted, I admit I gave in to it because atleast she was eating. However about 2 months ago I'd had enough, so we decided to try a new technique. We noticed that she was a lot more open to new things and situations in general if she was a part of the decision process and it didn't feel forced.

So we wrote down a list of about a months worth of different meals (5 days a week) and then we let her pick the meals for the week and the days that we ate them. Those meals were then not options to choose until we had done the whole list. We were sure it would be a battle but surprisingly she took to it really well. She has been trying new foods (I am careful to make the textures as tolerable for her as possible) and actually eating a varied diet for the first time ever. Theres only been a few blips but overall its been really successful.

However when I've spoken to family and friends about this, the overall opinion seems to be "You're giving her way too much power" or "You can't let her be in control of you". I don't think we are, we choose all the meals on the list so we're having what we want to eat at some point. She just chooses the order and what day she wants it. But maybe I'm wrong?

Am I giving her too much power?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

Devotedcatslave · 06/08/2022 13:32

You are doing what works well for you and your DC. I'd ignore anyone commenting on it.

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GoAround · 06/08/2022 13:33

It sounds like it’s working for you all which is great! Stop discussing it with others, I’ve literally never discussed with anyone how they and their family choose what to have for dinner.

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Theimpossiblegirl · 06/08/2022 13:34

It sounds like a brilliant system to me. Ignore them. They are not the parents of a child with autism so won't understand.

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ApolloandDaphne · 06/08/2022 13:34

Of course you aren't. You are working together to find a solution to her eating issues. She feels included and able to make choices. It sounds like you are doing a great job with her.

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Hollyhocksarenotmessy · 06/08/2022 13:35

Sounds sensible to me.

She's now eating a wider variety of meals, and you are deciding what those meals are. Giving her a small amount of choice over when, isn't really passing any power over to her. Everyone's eati g better, everyone's happy.

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skgnome · 06/08/2022 13:35

Yes you’re giving her power, but I see it more as empowering to take good decisions
shes not deciding for you, you give her a variety of acceptable options and she’s deciding from there
too much power would be “kid let’s go into the supermarket and we’ll only eat what you choose” and comply with eating icecream and chocolates for the whole week
this is one of those times where you need to do whatever works for you and your family
and isn’t long term better that she learns to do good decisions and has a healthy relationship with food?

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Plumtreebob · 06/08/2022 13:36

I think it sounds like a fantastic system and sounds like it is really working for your family.

Ignore the comments, I hate this idea that children’s lives should be completely dictated by parents. I often let my child make choices, within safe boundaries obviously. Why shouldn’t children get some say over their lives?

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Unbored · 06/08/2022 13:37

It’s working for you and your family so carry on. You are also building a great relationship with your DD.

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Notanotherwindow · 06/08/2022 13:41

It's not really power as such, you picked the meals, she only gets to choose the day and i assume you wouldnt let her pick an entire week of pasta at once.

I get that you can't let kids dictate to the family but they should get some say in when and what they eat. We do similar, everyone has a say in the meals for the week. I think this sounds like a good system tbh.

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cecilthehungryspider · 06/08/2022 13:42

As the mother of a "fussy" autistic child, I think you are doing brilliantly! Please don't change what is working because of what other people say. My DC didn't really make significant improvement until the end of primary school. Now, as a young adult, they are quite the foody. Hang on in there, you're doing great.

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MaChienEstUnDick · 06/08/2022 13:45

Well yes - you are giving her power. But why is that a bad thing? Children usually are and feel powerLESS. In many DCs that can lead to not eating - refusing food is the only power they have. I think it's slightly different with autistic DCs as there are often real issues with textures and tastes, but when you're growing up autistic in an NT world then saying no to foods is sometimes the only power you have.

So I say yes, you are giving her power. But I would 100% say that it is a good thing to do that - it's clearly working for you and your family and everyone else just needs to get their beaks out.

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Cantbeliveyoufakeit · 06/08/2022 14:03

Exactly what we did with DD, didn't actually suspect ASD back then, it was just what worked and came naturally to me as a parent. She's almost 14 now, eats a good, varied diet and is a healthy weight. She's also a good kid, she's had choice in lots of other areas too but doesn't seem spoilt or entitled because of it I don't think, I'm sure extended family would have pointed it out if she was!

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Pinkflipflop85 · 06/08/2022 14:04

You are doing the exact sort of thing that has been recommended to us by the dieticians and feeding specialists.

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RockinHorseShite · 06/08/2022 14:08

She has autism. You are accommodating her needs just as she needs you to.

Your family & friends are ignorant & need educating about autism

You are doing great, ignore them

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Tomselleckhaskindeyes · 06/08/2022 14:08

Absolutely best practice. I work in this field and structured choice is a brilliant method. Makes children feel in control in a world that can be very chaotic. It also helps her to be able to anticipate what's next?

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jay55 · 06/08/2022 14:14

Presumably you don't give a fig if you have spaghetti this Wednesday or next Thursday, as long as you get to have it some time.

Sounds like you've won a huge battle and should enjoy it.

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Mariposista · 06/08/2022 14:20

We don’t have the same issues as you but we also do a family meal planner. Love it, and helps us to be organised!

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ChocoButterfly · 06/08/2022 14:23

Don't listen to your family they sound like they have no understanding of your child's needs.

You're doing great!!

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Merryoldgoat · 06/08/2022 14:24

Sounds fantastic and I’ll be trying something similar with my son who has extreme fear of new food and also has ASD.

People don’t get it and I’ve started telling people to butt out if they have a stupid comment to make.

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Merryoldgoat · 06/08/2022 14:24

Thank you for the idea ❤️

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PutinIsAWarCriminal · 06/08/2022 14:29

You are giving her power and teaching her to make her own decisions, which is what decent parenting is all about, so its a good thing.
As the mum of a teen with a borderline eating disorder, I know how easily issues with food can build up to become a problem and it sounds like you are doing well.

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ChimChimeny · 06/08/2022 14:32

We all plan the meals for the week after dinner on Sundays, we all get a say & can make requests, I think if everyone has to eat the meals it feels right that they should get a say in what they are.

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DeadRight · 06/08/2022 14:33

It’s a great strategy.

I have a child with autism who was very picky when young and went through a phase of only eating a few different items.
We did a similar thing, getting him involved in meal planning and cooking, with a sense of choice built in.

We also always had food on the table in serving dishes, rather than plating meals, so he could choose what to have, and would try to offer new foods alongside familiar ones, with no pressure to try but praise if he did,

He’s a teenager now and eats a normal, healthy diet.

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johnd2 · 06/08/2022 14:35

What a great idea, well done for implementing it you must be very proud of your progress together.
The only people you are giving too much power to is the people moaning, it's nothing to do with them and you should give their comments the power/head space they deserve.
Good luck and your child is lucky your are on her side!

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RockinHorseShite · 06/08/2022 14:52

& to add, what you are doing is pretty much what we have done with our ASD DD. We've had some rocky teen years, but she has for the most part being a truly lovely human, despite her struggles. Now at 19 she is a confident & amazing young woman, doing stuff like travelling on her own & handling problems that arise in a mature & confident way. She still suffers afterwards, but she's pacing herself well, working & enjoying life & looking forward to Uni

If this is anything to go by, you are absolutely doing it right

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