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in need of a little help... please?

Posted by on May. 7, 2007 at 3:21 PM
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hello everyone!  so i'm having issues with my son ethan and his eating, or should i say lack of eating.  we try him on new foods whenever we can, but it's always a fight.  he is soooo picky.  i've been giving him a multi-vitamin after dinner to at least help in that area.  ethan is just so skinny and then it doesn't help that he is a hair under 4ft tall at 6 years old.  i struggle to get him to eat and now we are looking into the gluten-free diet.  any suggestions or tips please?  currently ethan isn't on any medication for his autism, but i was told that the gluten-free diet does wonders in many cases.  his verbal skills are finally coming around a bit more, but i'm concerned at his starting kindergarten in the fall and his diet.  (the kindergarten issue is another post entirely... coming soon)  PLEASE  help me with his picky eating so maybe i can put some meat on his bones!  :(  also any help with the gluten-free diet would be great!  it's soooo overwhelming that i don't know where to start...  thank's everyone!  take care!
~ rachael
by on May. 7, 2007 at 3:21 PM
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by New Member on May. 7, 2007 at 4:58 PM
Hi there,

I believe you're talking about the DAN diet, and though I don't know much about it, I have a few suggestions you might try to get your son eating.

My son has an aversion to textures when it comes to food, so all of his food has to be pureed.  Also, though he's capable, he won't feed himself.  I have to feed him with a baby spoon.

Some things we've done to move him along is played with food and toys - like rolling cars through pudding and letting him lick it off.  Also, feeding his animals, letting him feed me, then hopefully he'll feed himself.  Sometimes these things work sometimes not.  I'm thinking if you make eating somewhat of a game, maybe he'll begin playing along. 

Good luck to you :-)
by on May. 8, 2007 at 9:35 AM
Hi there, I think this is one of the major problems with these kids, form what I've gat hered from other parents they all have the same eating problems. Well my son of 6 yrs old is the same thing he would eat a week and the next nothing, but I have to tell you that since he was given risperdal this really made him hungry so now he's always hungry but the catch is that he might get overweight, so I think that if you don't want to give him medicine at least keep giving him a multivitamin or pediasure, and maybe try looking for what kind of food he likes best. Good luck!
by Member on May. 8, 2007 at 2:07 PM
my daughter almost starved from not eating and when she did, she would often throw up! getting her  into a good dayclass helped, as they feed the kids and maybe the influence of the other kids and staff helped her to gain weight so she was not in the danger zone anymore......still is a picky eater at 11, but not so worried about it.....must say that I helped by nursing her for quite a long time........
by on May. 8, 2007 at 2:29 PM
Sensory is a huge issue in Autism Spectrum kids.
It really affects eating.  I have three of my 5 kids that have challenges, two on the spectrum.  Both of these boys have Asperger and my older of the two who is 13 is VERY tall and VERY thin!! 
All 5 year old son with AS, the 13 year old with AS and my daughter with sensory processing disorder are very picky eaters...

Here are the things that you can try before changing his diet to the gluten free, unless there is some evidence that it will work specifically for your child.

These are the big issues that I have dealt with and many other parents as well...
Texture...find one he likes and expand on it with different foods of that texture or textures he likes.
Color is a big issue too...the color of the food!
This may sound weird but the color, texture and shape of the plate makes a huge difference for some son (5 1/2 wouldn't eat at all...he went several days without eating and only drank milk.  I changed his plate and he ate!!!  Now it took some investigating, but I found affordable plates at Walmart that were to his liking...he went through a phase and still sticks to it almost exclusively...he has to have a blue chair, a blue plate, blue fork..etc.
For a while he would only eat on a square plate...go figure!!
But I found what he liked and now he eats much better though still a very picky eater.
Feed him on HIS daughter is so tiny that she needs to eat several smaller meals a day.  The 13 year old eats when hungry because of the sensory and anxiety issues.  The 5 year old eats as needed because his seizure meds take away his appetitie.
Flavorful foods!  My daughter won't eat bland foods...Play a game and have several different flavors...strong, bitter, sour, sweet, salty...take note of what he likes.
No before I finish I need to say that none of these ideas work all the time, but at least some or all will work some of the time...
The sensory part can change daily, so be patient with him and try to see if there is any pattern..I know not easy!
Consistency of the food is a big issue as well as TEMPERATURE!!
My son won't eat anything that HE thinks is too HOT.  It has to be their interpretation of what is hot or cold.  My daughter doesn't no the difference between hot or cold!
Okay, so I have written a small novel, but I hope this helps!
Be careful with the GFCF diets.  GF or Gluten Free may be an answer and I know a lot of people have written that it really helps.  But it is expensive, time consuming and takes a lot fo diligence. 
If you come to a point of discovering that it does work, then great. 
Our Dr. said their is no research that proves either way, so you kind of have to see for yourself.
Take care and good luck!
Best, Cathy
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