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Cannot get my son with Asperger's to eat

He is five and was recently diagnosed. Mealtime has been a point of contention for us for years now. At first I thought he was the normal picky toddler and would eventually outgrow it. Well it has been 3 yrs now and it is still bad. He has maybe 3 or 4 things on his menu he will eat. Even then, there are times he refuses these pre-approved foods. I have tried the strategy of giving him his food and if he won't eat offer nothing else. I have done this many, many times over the last few yrs. Each time he just goes on a hunger strike. He literally won't eat ANYTHING for days on end (if I don't offer a preapproved food). Which of course is miserable for everyone. His moods swings are much worse and he is in a horrible mood because he is starving himself. He won't try anything he doesn't already know. For example, eggs. I have "introduced" eggs to him atleast once a week for pretty much all his life. cont

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:37 AM on Mar. 12, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (7)
  • cont
    He hasn't swallowed so much as a bite of eggs.
    I am in a constant struggle to get him just to eat food. Forget eating vegetables, I am fighting just to get him to eat alone.
    Please give me some other suggestion than starving him. It doesn't work.
    I have also tried giving him "color themed" meals. Where all foods are the same color. I have had him select from a cookbook what he wants to make and have had him help cook it. I have let him bring toys to the table. Watch other kids eat. Made an overly cheesey deal about how great the dinner tastes. Given him HUGE praise when he does eat. Completely ignored him and let him do his thing.
    NOTHING seems to be helping.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:41 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • My son was similar at that age, the good news is this wont last forever. I thought it would i truly did but as we worked with him in therapy and he got older he started eating more foods. What i would suggest and what I did isnt going to be popular with other moms but this is Aspergers we are talking about and you have to approach it differently. I kept the foods my son would eat in the house at all times, his food was mainly chicken nuggets, mac n cheese, ramen noodles (which i hate but he loved) crackers, cheese and a few other foods. He ate them all the time and never varied his foods. He still can not stand for his food to touch so we used divided plates, I still have those plates just in case we have a bad week. My son is 12 now and eats things I never in a million years though he would, he loves steamed veggies and seafood. I still have to be careful with seasonings the sensory can put him in overload if i use the cont'd
    3_ring_circus_

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:48 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • wrong ones or too much of something.

    Right now you just have to have patience and not push it, we stopped pushing other foods and solwly he became interested in what we were eating. I had stopped offering him anything other than his food and by the time he was 8 he started asking to try things. The change in his eating also fell in line with finding therapy that worked better and when he was put on meds to help with his sensory issues at 10 I noticed a HUGE change in his eating habits.

    Right now your sons problem could be textures, smells and the general look of food. I know its frustrating and it will get better :) Make sure you mention this to those who are working with him (doctors , therapist, etc) they may have some ideas or be able to incorporate working on this with what they are already doing with him.
    3_ring_circus_

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 12:53 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • good luck! my younger brother has Aspergers. He is 20 now and and will (now) try new things when offered but mostly sticks to the typical top ramen or PB&J's.
    when he was your kids age the only thing he would eat was cereal and PB&honey.
    outstandingLove

    Answer by outstandingLove at 12:55 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • OP Thank you 3 ring circus! Your son's diet was almost identical to my son's diet!! Other than the ramen noodles it is the same! He is still so small and hasn't gained much weight in the last few yrs. Last time I checked he is about 31 pounds. Definitely the smallest kid in his class.
    I worry and feel like such a terrible mother because I can hardly get him to eat, let alone healthy things! I wish so much he would eat some good proteins. Luckily he has opened up a lttle to some fruits, but that is only on occasion.
    We are just starting the therapy process with him, so I will see where it goes.
    OutstandingLove: Thank you for your input! I really hope I can get him to eat some food before he is an adult : )
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:04 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • My son has always been a huge milk drinker, I honestly believe that is how we kept him at a healthy weight lol. Just so you feel better try finding vitamins that he will take at least then youll know he is getting something that you feel good about. you may have to try several brands so buy the smallest bottle you can find.
    3_ring_circus_

    Answer by 3_ring_circus_ at 1:31 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

  • It's funny...seems to me there are 2 types of Aspie's...my nephew who is like you're son and my son who won't stop eating...he never feels full. Have you tried the same foods in different ways? My nephew loves "dippy" eggs (over easy) but if you make a variation of that ... forget it. I made all the kids "eggs in a basket" once where the "dippy" egg is inside the bread....he refused it and cried until I made a regular "dippy" egg. So maybe try presenting new foods in many different ways. Also does your son receive Occupational Therapy b/c it could be a sensory issue...he maqy not like the feeling of certain foods in his mouth...just like certain sounds like whispering can be almost painful to these kids food textures can have a similar result.
    KaylasMiracle

    Answer by KaylasMiracle at 9:52 AM on Mar. 12, 2010

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