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autism and overeating

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 


My 6 year old son is autistic but pretty high functioning. He is verbal and his language skills are amazing. The problem is he OBSESSES about food. I give him plenty of snacks and healthy foods. he eats lots of veggies and fruits. he has sweet snacks here and there and lots of water. We don't stop him from eating anything really (within our household limits) he is gluten free  no colors or flavors or preservatives but that is across the board in our house he is no different than the other kids.



We will have snacks and he will find them and eat them all in minutes if not caught. We tried finding a hiding place and when he found it he ate 3lbs of candy that were being saved for his brothers birthday party. its like cookie monster, the remnants of the food are everywhere.He will just keep eating and eating at dinner unless we stop him. he is constantly talking about touching smelling tasting food. its the subject he loves to talk about. I don't want to give him even more of an issue but I am at loss. I don't want to have to get a lock for my cabinets. how do I approach this in a way that will not make him have issues later on with food?


Its gotten really bad.He does have PICA and will eat things in spurts for a while it was metal tops to pencils and erasers, for a while it was glass (thank God that didn't last long) could this be another phase of PICA behavior? the other day he grabbed and swallowed 2 uncooked bacon slices


BTW Dr sears thank you so much for helping all of us mommies out. You really are very helpful. I am sure you could find other things to do with your time...golf, karate...macrame  ROTFLMAO.gif <~this is how you show humor(you had asked in another thread

post #2 of 3

I've worked with  many families with autism, but I must say that I haven't heard of this being so extreme. I don't know exactly what to tell you here but my first impression is that if his weight is doing ok (not overweight) then it's probably not a health concern. I know it's a behavioral concern though. I have never had to give any type of appetite-suppression treatments to these kids, but I wonder if there are any that would be suitable for a child? The only medical issue I can think of here is if he has some vitamin or mineral deficiency (which would be unlikely is he's on a multivitamin and mineral supplement), although kids with Zinc deficiency sometimes have unusual oral fixations. You could have the zinc level tested, OR just start him on about 20 mg to 30 mg of Zinc daily (any liquid form or pills is he'll swallow them). You probably have had his lead level tested, to rule out lead as a cause of PICA?

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

his lead level was tested when he turned six in august last year. it was super low. he takes a bunch of supplements but looking at them not a single one has very much zinc in them. He had been worse a few years back and started a trace mineral supplement. this time it had no effect on him. He can be such an amazing little man. so vibrant, but this is making me crazy


I am very frustrated. he is not overweight. he does weigh a good amount (56lbs) but he is solid mass. he is also quite tall. I feel terrible because the only solution I have right now is to either lock the cabinets or stop buying treats. I am completely at a loss. his school has removed his supplies from his desk because he eats them. I am worried I'm making it worse because it visibly upsets me when he eats these things. 


we do have a care team meeting in 4 weeks . 

thank you for your time.

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