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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

weight concerns

Posted by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 6:35 PM
  • 13 Replies

hi

ok so i have a 4 year old with autism, pdd, odd and adhd. he has a limited range of food he will eat, he only eats chips with gravy, chicken, suasage, easy mac, crisps, yoghurt, cheese, jam sandwiches and chocolate cake. In the last couple of weeks i have taken away the easy mac (pasta with powdered cheese that makes to a sauce when cooked) because he was eating only that and it was changing his behavour. he was getting angrier than usual and easy to upset, and i thought maybe the additives and preservates were affecting him, and they were he has calmed down a little since coming off it.

the problem is now he is really gaining weight, he was a solid little boy to start with, and a little chubby but he is going past the chubby stage now, he is really active, but with a limited diet and a complete rejection of any type of new food (and yes i try often and lots and often repeat new foods at least 20 times, still wont take it) he is just gaining the weight.

is it something to worry about at this age, i was told it was puppy fat at that age, and never lost it, and now have a constant struggle with my weight and dont want him to have to suffer the same issues, plus the teasing a child cops at school if they are bigger is pretty bad, and he has enough to deal with. is it something i should be working on and worrying about now, or should i just wait and see how it goes?

please dont get angry at me, im not a mum that expects perfect kids or nasty or deny food or anything, i just want to know if i should deal with it now or let it go, i just dont want him to have a lifetime of problems if i should be dealing with it now, and i dont know anyone with autistic children apart from on here.

thanks

by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 6:35 PM
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Replies (1-10):
OkieOBRN
by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 6:39 PM

I wont be much help.  Im firmly of the "If he gets hungry enough he will eat".  Dont provide it and he can't eat it.  Its not like he can drive to get his own junk food. 

Whatever you decide to do needs to happen now.  Dont wait.  These struggles will only be harder the older he gets. 

*forgot to add.. my son has texture issues.  Anything thicker than skim milk.. you know, like yougurt, pudding, whole milk.   We still expect him to eat whatever the family is eating.  But at snack time, special events he can have whatever he wants.  I mean, you cant take EVERYTHING he likes away!  :-)  at least I couldn't..

tonijoy79
by Member on Jan. 4, 2014 at 6:48 PM

my problem isnt so much with what he is eating, but the weight gain, should i be concerned about that at this point in his life, or is there the likelyhood he will grow out of it. as far as the he will eat when he is hungry thing, not so for my little boy, i tried to put him onto the failsafe diet, to try to get the additives away from him, and he didnt eat for 3 days, when he started to get really weak the ped said to go back to normal feeding, we tried and it didnt work. so i cant really push the denying him food thing, and never really would do that, he had heaps of food offered but the texture, color, smell or something offended him and he couldnt eat it. so im not sure where to go from there. is the weight an issue at this age?

josiah0927
by Shanta on Jan. 4, 2014 at 7:24 PM

 I am dealing with the same issues with Josiah. His diet is very limited and he will only eat oatmeal, spaghetti o's, or eggs at home. He constantly wants to eat out and he is gaining weight. He is heavy for his age and I know that his diet is not good for him. In the beginning I just wanted to make sure he was eating something, but now Im starting to  get concerned with his weight and he is very active. However, the pounds are packing on. My mom told me to try the "If he gets hungry he will eat" but its hard.

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jan. 4, 2014 at 7:34 PM

Hugs mama.  That can't be easy.  Unfortunately, my son has the opposite problem.  He's 5 years old and eats baby, but is primarily fed through a feeding tube.  I wish you the best!

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Jan. 4, 2014 at 8:20 PM

Have you spoken with his ped about this? That is the person who can give you the best answer. My kids go through stages where they eat all day and get chunky. Then the growth spurt comes and they thin out and pick at food. So this could be something that is going on. He might be going through a growth spurt. But it's best to doc to his doctor

AspieAuntie
by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 9:15 PM
I agree you should talk to his doctor to see if the weight gain is concerning or not. Sometimes kids just go through phases where their bodies store more fat in prep for a growth spurt. But if you do decide to do something about his weight gain I'd be very careful how you handled it. My Bugga has always been a chunky kid since he has a healthy appetite and is not very active at all. A few years ago he spent the summer with his grandparents and when he came home he was obsessed with his weight. He refused to eat a lot of things, wanted to weigh himself constantly and kept calling himself fat. He was only 7 at the time. I personally think that is way too young for a child to be worrying about body image issues. Perhaps if you just emphasize the need for good nutrition rather than weight loss? But again, talk to his doctor first. Good luck!
tonijoy79
by Member on Jan. 5, 2014 at 5:53 AM

thanks guys, im on here at the moment with my concerns instead of his doc for a basic reason. his ped had a stroke and had to retire, and he was the only one that serviced this area, until a new one can be found we are without one (fun of living in rural QLD, limited services) and bradley wont travel the 3 hours each way to see the nearest local one. i havent been able to see a ped since the diagnoses and he shunted me to autism australia, and i dealt with them, but they are also 2 hours away, not a medical service, so once again i am limited. i havent put an empasis on body image, i never would, i am a big lady (size16/18) and know how it feels to be mocked even by family for it, large back story and pysical reasons i cant lose the weight i wont bore you with, i just dont want bradley to go through that when he hits school. one of his favourite people is a 12 year old girl, and she is big as well, so i dont think he will see it as bad himself, but so many others do.

the whole nutrition thing is the problem, he literally wont eat if he doesnt like the look smell or texture, and will throw up if the texture is wrong in his mouth and as a result we have little success with him even wanting to try new foods now, its not intentional, the throwing up, its just his way of dealing with the offending textures. but like i said in an earlier reply, the eat when hes hungry thing didnt work, he just went three days, and was almost passing out and still wouldnt eat anything new. even the ped told me it was a bad idea and wouldnt work for him, so that makes it really really hard.

thanks all for the responses, trying to get in with a ped as we speak, even his cardiologist is on the case pushing for bradley to get with one. thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Jan. 5, 2014 at 9:01 AM
1 mom liked this

 My kids were "very healthy" toddlers and are now all thin. I know how picky our kids are with foods...

I make an easy homemade mac and cheese that my kids love. They wont eat the processed kind!

I box elbow macaroni...prepare as directions say

In a saucepan...i jar alfredo sauce and 1 package of shredded cheddar or cheddar jack cheese until melted. Add to cooked macaroni.

I sometimes need to add a little salt but that's it! It's awesome!

BDSMI
by on Jan. 5, 2014 at 11:28 AM

I wish I could help my son's diet is mainly fruits and veggies and he eats very little--we are trying to add weight---

johnns
by Johnna on Jan. 5, 2014 at 12:49 PM
I'm in the same boat- Sally is sporting quite a Budda Belly! I know it's what she likes to eat- salts and sweets! Its horrible. I don't think a fruit has hit her lips since she was spoon fed.
I was thinking that maybe she had a deficiency of some sort. Salt and she likes to eat ice cubes. When we move I was going to see if someone could lead me in the right direction- a nutritionist.
My middle child was a bit of a chunk, now at 14 he's grown 3 feet- slimmed down. I was a chunky kid too, Sally looks just like i did at her age.
We do the best we can!
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