How do you get your autistic child to eat new things without a fight?

Teri Devona - posted on 06/27/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I've tried rewards, punishments, praise, scolding, lol death threats (just kidding), but it really seems like nothing works. I have to set a timer at dinner time so he'll eat sometimes. And we're on vacation...I worry about him getting enough to eat. I'm such a worry wort. I've even made him skip meals (DHS says the law only requires one meal a day) it just seems so mean and...I'm a worry wort.

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Darla - posted on 06/28/2009

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Teri, I hate to admit it but I am one of 'picky eaters' always have been. Drove my mother crazy! She made me sit in front of plate of vomit for 2hrs after a dinnner with me & cauliflower went bad. She's held dinners over night & served it to me for breakfast. none of these worked. I would go to extrordinary lengths to hide my food. I'm 38yrs old & would still rather starve than eat brocoli. I've never been diagnosed with anything, except maybe pain-in a** syndrome by my mom. I just wanted to let you know that I made it to adulthood even though I didn't always 'get enough to eat'. Good luck!

Ruth - posted on 06/28/2009

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It can be hard. My step-son has FAS which is on the autistic spectrum. You have to remember that sometimes, people with autism don't sense things the same way as a 'normal' child would. For example, my step-son vomits if he just TOUCHES a banana. Not being autistic myself, I don't understand it (!) but to him, perhaps it feels, tastes, looks and smells like the most disgusting, slimy, rotten thing that he can imagine. I think it's called sensory intergration disorder.

I agree with Charlette to keep presenting other foods and perhaps disguising vegetables etc (note; I wouldn't do this for my other son - I make ONE dinner, it's up to him to eat or not but I won't be making anything else. If you don't eat it, you go hungry!), but you may also have to accept that there may be a LOT of types of food that he'll never eat, even if his life depended on it. My step-son is the most fussy eater in the world and we fought with him for 2.5 years. In the end, we gave up and meal times are much more enjoyable now. He'll only eat what I call 'beige' food - starchy carbs like bread, pasta, potatoes etc - and he's on a prescribed milkshake twice a day which gives hims extra calories and vitamins.

Hope this helps.

Charlette - posted on 06/28/2009

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If you continue to put the same food in front of him eventually he'll eat it. For instance, my son didn't eat mac & cheese, I would serve him mac & cheese for 2 or 3 days in a row until he eventually tried it. now he loves it. Certain vegetables you can mix in with meat so he doesn't know he's eating it. For instance you can take hamburger helper or some kind of hamburger recipe and add peas and carrots with it.

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