My oldest has asd and adhd, he is on an adhd med that makes his appetite nonexistent (but it's the only one that works without increasing his stimming). He's lost 4 lbs in 2 weeks and subsists seemingly solely on apples! He won't sit at the table to eat (granted we've not been consistent about it, but we're moving back in with my parents soon and eating a family meal at the table together is a big deal to them). He won't even eat his favorite foods except apples. He will eat 5 or more a day.
My almost 3 year old is not adhd but is also refusing to eat. I think he's getting it from the older one though.
What I want: Everyone at the table for 10-20 min at least. Everyone trying at least 1 bite of everything.
Is that too much to ask?
But how do I accomplish it without coercion, threats of spanking, punishment, etc when he will happily not eat anything?
Single, student mama to 3 boys
When she's going through a bad spell she still sits with the family and eats what she can, but we make a big fuss over getting pediasure into her. We let her talk to the dr herself about nutrition and having lots of energy to play. That got her excited about taking steps to get proper nutrition. We talked to her about how these milkshakes are like a special medicine that helps her stay healthy and grow big and strong when she has trouble eating other food.
Now obviously in your case you have the added challenge of getting to a place where he's willing to eat proper food (thankfully dd is an awesome eater when she's not sick), but in the meantime I'd consider finding a calorie dense alternative (like pediasure or a smoothie as pp suggested) and try to get him excited about this special drink only he's allowed to have. It sounds like priority number one is finding a way to keep him healthy while you work on the rest of the eating issues. Maybe someone else can suggest ways to help broaden his interest in food.
Question regarding your oldest: are all foods available to him? Sweets, potato chips, etc? Is he choosing apples even over those foods?
We have had eating issues when the girls were younger, but you are battling side effects of medication which is entirely different than any experience I can offer up. My only suggestion (beyond eating what he wants to eat to get him to gain weight and back on track again) is to consult with your pharmacist regarding the side effects and about possibly another medication that your doctor can prescribe. This situation is NOT OK. I notice when my girls drop a single pound--it is not OK for a 6yo (?) to lose 4 lbs.
"Let me see you stripped down to the bone. Let me hear you speaking just for me."
We have been pushing eating breakfast and at least a snack before bed and he did gain a pound back..his dr isn't concerned yet because he's still in the higher end of "normal" weight for his height..
Single, student mama to 3 boys
Typical measures won't work with ASD kids. Took me many years to figure that out. Work with what you have and build from there. If he eats apples, will he dip them in peanut butter? Apples are crunchy so work with that. Crackers, pretzels, cereal, popcorn, etc. Use full fat dairy if he'll eat it. Cheese and crackers, real butter on popcorn, whole milk over cereal, etc. I have two ASD kiddos that prefer crunchy foods and I have had to accept they will never, ever like or eat some of the foods DH and I like - soups, stir-fries, rice and veggies, etc. I allow them to eat what they want AFTER we are done eating (so that the younger boys without ASD will eat "regular food" - otherwise everyone would bail and want cereal!). We use supplements that fill in the gaps. If you can't get a decent range of foods, there are feeding therapist that can work with them. This is at its root a sensory issue, not a behavioral one. Its pretty miserable for them and I can see that now but for years, I took it personally and had power struggles and it has led to some food-related anxieties that just makes things worse. Also, we had to forgo family dinners years ago. The sensory issues, not only food, but overstimulation to sounds, smells, etc made dinner a nightmare. We do better a little spread out and with the TV on. It took a counselor to teach me that what is "good" for a typical family can be "bad" for a family struggling with ASD or other SNs.
Mom to DS(17) DS(15) DS(12) My gifted, quirky, wonderful teens!
Mama to Jack 11.08 and Liam 9.11 and due with boy #6!
Blissfully married to the love of my life since 8.8.8
TV is good for kids with ASD. It helps distract them enough from the sensory part of food to help them eat. Also, I agree with earthmama, go with what works and build up from there. DO NOT make it an issue, because it will cause food anxieties.
Me and my wonderful husband serve God. Blessed with twin girls 2/11/11. <3