Monday, July 18, 2011

Oral Fixation???

My youngest son is 11 years old and has a DX of autism. Some people don't agree with it. Some just want to say he was/is developmental delayed or low intelligence or ADHD.

My son has had sensory issues which the majority of them he has either overcome or just deals with it somehow.

We have a major issue of overeating. He eats like he is a starved child. He gets all worked up over wasted food like the food police are going to knock our door down and take us away for wasting it. My son has never went hungry or been not allowed to eat a meal.

My current husband has weird eating habits. He tends not to eat three meals a day and more so or often one of his meals includes a stack full of cookies which he call his. I never used to always have cookies and if we did have treats they were never one persons or another persons food. We are a family and I just don't agree with his line of thinking.

I only mentioned this because I wonder if my husband habits are making our problem worse. But for the information my husband has been with me since 2006 so my youngest son doesn't remember anything different.

Back to my son. Besides overeating at meals if you let him. He asked for food non stop. It seems to be when he is board but at an event for autism while he was jumping in a bouncy house he is asking for his popcorn. It's like he has a one track mind.

The reason I am wondering about oral fixation because I have seen my son spend twenty minutes taking tiny tiny bite out of a vitamin and today I seen him take ten minutes to eat a gummy worm. We only had a few so he was only given a couple of them.

I read up a little online about oral fixation and I seen a lot of kids chew their clothes or other weird items. My son doesn't do that. We are against gum chewing because of the mess of it.

Does anyone have any advice on what to do? We have cut him down to drinking mostly water and milk so he don't drink his calories. We try very hard to include veggies in our meals and keep fruit on hand.

This is causing my husband and me to fight. I believe it's a reason to be concerned and try to find a solution but I don't think it's a reason to go around bitching and making it bigger than what it is.
My husband actually suggest that we sit my son down with breakfast, lunch and dinner and a bunch of snacks and just let him eat. I got overly mad at him and basically told him he was being ignorant. I went even as far as to tell him to get out of my house. I think that is the craziest thing to suggest or even say I feel like doing this.

I admit that I don't have the answers to our problem but to suggest something so crazy just tells me he is being stupid and not caring about my son.

I have thought about using some PECS ( a picture exchange device) to help him understand using up his meals and snacks for the day but I fear that I will either make it not detail enough or too detail. My son sees things different and it could cause some melt downs if I allow five fruits a day and we run out of fruit. Or if I have one desert a day and we don't have any. Or if I use times for snack and we are not home.

Just for the record. My son had a thyroid test and that came back fine. He just recently had a blood sugar test done and we haven't heard anything but it's not been very many days. Also, my son has allergies and asthma and is medicated for them.

This overeating has been a problem for a couple years now but is getting worse. The doc is concerned but agrees that overall he is in pretty good shape. Plus, he is tall and agrees that he maybe a hungry boy and says it's okay to snack between meals and of course the more active he is the more he can consume.

Any advice???


Leah said...

It's so hard to get our children on a positive path of eating. Obesity in children has become such an epidemic in our country, that I would just try to be very careful of what you feed him. Most professionals I have heard say to eat about 5 small meals a day. That way, if your son eats every couple of hours, he'll never really feel hunger. And his snacks should be fruits and veggies and not the high sugar/fatty foods like fast food, cookies, chips, etc. It is possible that he has an oral fixation, and I think it's great that you are paying attention to it.

ss fashion world said...

I love to read your blog. It always makes me sad. Keep writing it, because its really great !

Laurel said...

Cris, I don't know how your boy's diagnosis might be connected (if at all) to his eating habits/routines/urges, so maybe you want to talk to his doctors? But...that said, I remember a few episodes of the Supernanny, where the families she was working with allowed their kids to eat whatever and the kids wanted to eat constantly.

What Jo did for the kids was to get a jar/bag for each child and in the AM, they were allowed to pick out, say, 2 to 3 snacks for that day from the snack cupboard. They had to pick a fruit (or two) and then could pick something like a granola bar or package of cookies or pretzels, etc. Then the children knew that they had to make their snacks last for the day and then they tried to regulate snack time (10:30, 2:30, etc.).

Idk if that would help your son? Idk that the hubby is helping much, with his own eating behaviors. Maybe you could get him on board somehow?

When I was seeing a nutritionist last year (hello eating issues, here) she was SO helpful. Maybe you could get your son in to see someone? Even a session or two might help HIM take control of how he feels about food.

You're a great Mom!!! You're doing a great job! xo

birthmothertalks said...

Leah, Thanks for your suggestions. I try very hard to make sure what he is snacking on his healthy compared to not healthy. Or if it's ice cream that it's a small portion like dixie cups and not big. It seems like he is getting food at places other than home like getting double portions at school and getting things from the neighbors even though we say don't eat food from the neighbors. I am concerned but I don't want to make a huge deal out of it because if for someone reason he is eating for emotional reasons to make a big deal out of it might be adding to the fire.
ssfashion your the second person that told me that my blog makes them sad. That's kind of makes me sad but this blog is just a portion of my life. I do blog because I find it a way to connect with so many other people who I otherwise wouldn't know or in person I admit wouldn't have given them the time of day. I hope that doesn't sound mean.
Laurel, I agree that my husband isn't helping me deal with this in the correct way. Quite a few of his snacking incorrectly is done when my son isn't looking but he isn't fooling us. I really like your idea of the snack suggestions and will probably try this route and see how it works. If that doesn't work then I will see about a nutritionist.

Laurel said...

Your blog doesn't make me sad. :o)