eating....

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
eating....
6
Mon, 08-09-2010 - 7:38am

I never in a million years would have ever guessed my son would have an eating issue, but he does. Gabe has autism (high functioning) and with that apraxia of speech (mild), sensory issues, and processing delays.

Gabe has always been an oral seeker. He puts everything....and I mean everything in his mouth. He has licked my windows, the floor, and even the cat! But as of the beginning of July he has become the opposite. He has developed a severe oral aversion to all food except yogurt, pediasure, chocolate milk, and if I am lucky...a few bites of ice cream.

Gabe currently get an hour a week of OT, but we are planning on increasing this for him. Have there been any specific therapies that have worked for your kiddos? The OT wants to start the brushing program with Gabe. I am willing to try anything.



Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: cl_tingngabe
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 2:19pm

I wish I had words of relief, but I do not. With my experience the only thing I wish I did (or could do) is simply ignore the fact my child does not eat. As I worry maybe he's identified it as part of his personality and he will not be him if he simply tried a new food.

This is what I wish I had done.

Make breakfast be something he likes.
Make lunch a mix.
Make dinner for the whole family, what he likes does not matter.

Never ask him to try a bite. Let him be in total control of what he does & does not eat.

Right now I have a rule, which I do like, after dinner the only foods to be eaten are fruits and veggies. (My son will not eat either.) Sometimes this persuades him to eat his dinner. Other times he will actually eat an apple if he's really hungry.

Meanwhile, supplement with a daily vitamin & omega-3.

Now my DS has not been diagnosed with Autism though, an OT said he did have sensory processing, but she never did write anything up I can show people (the main reason I ended up leaving her, as she didn't follow through on anything).

So if I was to make a guess, maybe my son is extremely high functioning Aspergers.

Just as a note though, dairy is the staple of my sons life. It is probably where he's received most of his nutrition for the past 4-5 years.

Will he eat cheese? Maybe start with white cheese sauces, which then noodles can be added in. If he eats yogurt, maybe you can start making yogurt drinks, add a little protein powder or dried milk - then SLOWLY add other healthful flavors. I pinch of peanut butter or a tsp of orange juice, etc.

My son could smell food changes from across the room. So if you try this approach use something that has very little scent to it.

My son accepts peanut butter off & on. One time we bought Skippy instead of Jiffy b/c it was on sale. He could smell it before it even came to his nose it was different. I looked at the ingredients & they're all the same in the same order with the same nutritional panel, but he could tell & he NEVER saw the bottle.

I've even tried to use a different brand of something poured into the brad of his 'normal' and that still would not trick him.

.. but Omega-3 seems to help him calm down a lot. I get one that is made by Barlean's (from Costco so it's named something else from their Swirl) and he loves it. Which is saying a lot from a picky eater. But it has a yogurt consistency & taste like lemons. It uses xylitol instead of sugar and taste very sweet still.

Good luck.

If you go through the history of this board you'll see I've been here for years basically crying about my son's eating.

Maybe you'll know how to take it in stride & not make it into as big of an issue as I have.

Peace.




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
In reply to: cl_tingngabe
Tue, 08-10-2010 - 5:29pm

hmmmm...ignoring it! Good advice. I actually started doing just that probably about a week ago only because I just can't take it anymore! He just eats his yogurt and drinks his pediasure. He is losing weight, but still at a healthy weight...so I quit worrying as much. I am still taking him to the neurologist because he has changed a ton, not just with eating. His whole sensory system, behavior, everything is different then what it was. His speech has even tanked.

It really is driving me crazy. He has rules about eating....freaking rules. And today I managed to get juice in him...and it went down the wrong pipe...and now he doesn't want juice anymore. ugh.

We don't even ask him if he wants dinner anymore....he doesn't even join us at the table.

We are going to see a feeding specialist at the end of the month. I'm curious as to what they think. They will help determine if it is a sensory thing...or if it is a medical problem. We did have an endo done because Gabe kept saying he couldn't swallow...but that was all clear...except for "possible early onset of GERD" not really sure what that means in a 5 year old....but anyway...thank you



Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: cl_tingngabe
Wed, 08-11-2010 - 1:16pm

oooh, that is no good. Early case of GERD & only wanting milk products. You may want to get a call into the doc. He may be having acid come up his esophagus. My doc had us take the 'purple pill' (cannot remember what it is called) break it open (which is not easy b/c of static) & put a little into his yogurt to see if that helped him eat.

Maybe that is the real reason he doesn't want juice, maybe it hurts.

It may not be life-long either. Their tummies & esophagus are so small at this age sometimes the pressure is just greater, but will grow out of it.

Both my grandpa and mother have had GERD and my mom really has to watch what she eats. I remember my grandpa coming over to our house and swallowing baking soda, 1-2 heaping Tbs at a time, ick.

I've had an ulcer before & remember using milk to calm my stomach. I think I had the ulcer for most of my teenage years & into my young adulthood. I drank about 1/2 gallon a day through my teens. I had no idea it was an ulcer until finally went to go get checked when I was drinking milk constantly.

ooooh.... and what finally fixed me, not the drugs the doc was giving me, but probiotics.

So maybe make sure the yogurt you're giving him is the ones with the live & active cultures.

At least until you can find out more.

---

One more note, a personal one, I would still have him come to dinner. I have a strong belief families should eat together. I tell anybody in my family (including my husband), if they're not eating, they are still to come to the dinner table. As dinner is the time of day we get to slow and talk to one another. I tell them dinner is not about food, but about family time.

I had to fight hard for this. My H used to bring books, or watch TV or read the paper, etc at meal time & we literally had to get into yelling fights over it. But I prevailed :)

Sorry, but teens are so tough, I cannot help but think if we ingrain some things into their minds while they're young it will be easier to keep these traditions when the get into those dreaded double-digits.

Another note: Sometimes when they're laughing and having fun at the dinner table, they sometimes pick up food & eat w/o thinking about it. I at first had to set the timer for 15 minutes, they were to stay at the table for that long, regardless of they thought they were done or not. We don't use a timer any longer & have 30 minute dinners.

I hope you find what is going on. It's scary to see them digress. Is he stressed for any reason? Is he going to school soon? My DS digressed the most right before he started K.

Hugs




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
In reply to: cl_tingngabe
Thu, 08-12-2010 - 8:27am

Thanks guys. We started having family dinners all the time when we moved back in Dec. Before that it was sporadic because our apt was so small that it was just easier to all eat in the living room. I know really bad! We never ate like that as kids. So once we moved I made it a rule that everyone will sit at the table as a family and eat. It's just since this all happened it stopped. I think mostly because I feel so guilty eating in front of Gabe. He has to be hungry. He smells the food, sometimes smears his finger on it and licks his finger, but will not put the food in his mouth. It is heart breaking to watch...and almost always leads to me crying. So I stopped making him come to the table. Which is heart breaking for me as well. I love that family time....and it's a time when we work on pragmatic social language...as a family. It's not therapy time...it's family time with a benefit.

Oh an extremely positive note. We have an appt set with CHOP. The Children's hospital of Philadelphia! I am so glad. They know a ton about autism....and I am relieved that we will be seen there.

We are still seeing the feeding specialist at Hershey med....but we are starting with the neurologist at CHOP. Gabe has a neuro in my area....but CHOP is way more advanced when it comes to autism and neuro issues in kids. Although Gabe's neuro is pretty darn good....it's CHOP. :)

Also, Gabe is starting Kindergarten....but he doesn't seem nervous...he doesn't even talk about it....and we only mention is a little....he gets to ride the bus with two of his cousins...so he seems excited about that...but it could be something that may be making him regress.

I just have never seen one this huge in him. Little set backs...like potty training...co-ordination...but nothing to this extreme.

Thanks again for all your great advice.



Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)



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Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
In reply to: cl_tingngabe
Thu, 08-12-2010 - 12:23pm

My son was 100% excited for kindergarten and completely ready. But any change, good or bad, is stressful. Hopefully it's to do with the change & things will mellow out soon.

Hope all goes well at the hospital. The worst stress if the stress we feel for our children.

Have a good day.




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng