Seeking Moms with Autistic Child

Updated on May 02, 2009
L.D. asks from Madill, OK
16 answers

When it comes to feeding my 4yr old autistic son He puts me through hell! He is very picky. He waste so much food and will only eat what he wants. Another problem is he can't talk he has a speech disorder also. I have made him PECs cards of food and that works sometimes. He goes through what seems to be stages of a certain food. He wants that same thing for lunch for the whole week. Then all the sudden he wont have anything to do with that particular food. But he still makes me cook it or go buy it but doesn't eat it. So I feel like thats his way of saying hes hungry but doesn't know what he wants. He usually won't try anything new. He has to smell the food if it doesn't smell good he won't eat it.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers



answers from San Antonio on

Most austitic kids are very picky eaters. My son for a very long time had only about 6 or so things he would eat. We now have a larger diet, so be patient and give it time.
Also remember that for many autistic people the senses can be very heightened. So for what may not smell bad to us, may smell very bad to him. I know with my son, we can't feed the cat close to dinner time because he can smell the cat food from across the room.
You might want to try ABA therapy, many have had great sucess for that. In some locations there are places that offer food therapy for children with autism. I think there may be one of those in Dallas or Austin.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers



answers from Austin on

Depending on when his birthday is, he should be able to start in the PPCD program at your local school district. It is a class for 3-5 year old children with disabilities. The school district can provide you with some in home training.

As for help with eating, PECs are a good route. I made my PECs with actual photographs of the food choices that he has. The Speech therapist can determine if it is a texture issue. The OT should also be able to give you some help, also.

I switched to a gluten free diet (after testing) and needed help with the switch. I used the services of an ABA therapist to get him to try new foods. She used reinforcement stickers to get him to eat 3 tiny bites and worked up to a full serving. You can try that yourself, or hire someone to help. I would use spiderman to your advantage. Pick foods that spiderman eats, etc. and try that route, too.

I understand what you are going through. I have been there. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi L.!

I work with kids with autism and I understand your frustration. Have you looked into or considered getting some ABA training or hiring an ABA therapist to help him and you. Are you getting any services from ECI? Any in-home training? Does he have any language or words at all?

If you're interested, I'd be more than happy to give you more guidance....just let me know.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from El Paso on

I have been where you are right now. my son is 8 now and amazingly enough will eat almost anything now, but it took years to get him to even try new foods. definately get in contact with an in home trainer from the local school district, if your not sure how to do that sent me a private message and i can tell you how to do that. another person also suggested aba therapy, which may be a good route also, for us, unfortunately it was a huge waste of time. i know that it can be tiresome dealing with the pickyness of what he wants to eat, and the only real advice i have is to take it one meal at a time. my son used to smell all his food too before he would put it anywhere near his mouth. alot of it has to do with the texture of the food, which some foods may actually cuase your son discomfort by eating it, as he is eating it or as his body is digesting it. alot of children with autism also have problems in their stomachs and intestines. since he is not very verbal he is not able to tell you why he doesnt like it.............. and my eight year old who is very verbal still can not tell me why he doesnt like a food.

just be patient........... maybe even look into bahavior therapy if you havent already, my son just goes to a therapist that works with special needs kids and it has been a wonderful help. last but definately not least, if your are religious at all.......... PRAY! i truley believe for our family that if it wasnt for the miricles that god hass done for my son he wouldnt be the awesome kids he is now........... still hitting speedbumps daily, but we are able to get over them adn keep going. i hope this has helped you, at least a little.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

L., have you had your son go through all the ropes to get into a PPCD program? This would help him so much.. They would help him work through these difficult everyday battles. My son isn't autistic but showed all the signs the first 2 and a half years.. We did speech and occupational, he actually goes to a special speech school, but he was accepted to go into a PPCD program.. If you haven't already, you should try and consider this, it would really help.. good luck, J.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Corpus Christi on

I'm curious to see the responses. My son is the same way. He was not diagnosed as having autism, but he is very picky in the same way. He'll ask for something, then won't eat it. He won't try anything new and smells the food too. Maybe it's just a picky eater "thing". He does have a speech delay, but can tell me what he wants. Trouble is, he doesn't always eat it. One thing about him, is that it has to be his own idea. I can't convince him to eat anything unless he wants to. Sorry I'm not much help. I just try to keep on hand what my son likes and offer a variety. I ask him to pick what he'd like at the store too. That doesn't always work (like when he chooses food because there's a cartoon on the package), but sometimes it does. Anyway, wish you good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

hi! i'm a speech pathologist. looks like u r trying your hardest....just remember, he has sernsory issues that we can't understand. try making him something u know he'll u have the piece of mind that he won't starve, and introduce new things....don't be so hard on yourself, and stop personalizing it. it something is too hard to make or you won't eat the food he's refusing to eat, but you made it...tell him "no". it's ok to say no, and let him know there are boundries, and limited options. have a special dessert that he loves or a toy in his vision, up on top of the fridge, set up the PECS pix...for example:
juice, chicken, he eats each one, he can put the pix in a box, labeled "done". have the last pix as the prize...the toy/dessert. hope that gives a new approach:)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Have you ever contacted Texas Parent to Parent? They may be able to match you with another parent who can serve as a mentor and source of support for you.

Best wishes to you and your son.


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Houston on

Hi L.,
I'm a representative for Wildtree All-Natural foods. Please visit my website for quick, delicious recipe ideas that are free of preservatives, dyes, chemicals, and MSG. I'd LOVE to talk with you more about how my company can help you and your son.



answers from San Antonio on

Hi L.
First let me tell you, take a deep breath , you are not alone!!!! .
Autistic children are usually very picky eaters and only have a few items on their menu . They usually crave starchy foods that feed the yeast overgrowth ( within their digestive system). Because there is such an overgrowth, the yeast sends signals to the brain of what to feed it in order for the yeast to continue thriving withing the digestive system.
Smelling the food is not an unusual thing for autistic children , so please don't let that get to you .

Autistic children are often also deficient in numerous vitamins and minerals due to the "leak gut syndrome". Their digestive system does not filter out what it needs in order to nourish the brain , the way a healthy digestive tract does.I would suggest reading a book called "children with starving brains" it is very insightful.
Now please I am no medical expert. I am just sharing what has worked for my son .I have only been through hell and back with my sons autism ,he is going to be six years old. His autism has forced me to learn sooooo much about it, and pursue roads less traveled . I am still learning about it more and more on a daily basis .Due to the fact that autistic children are deficient in vitamins and minerals , they are also deficient in zinc. Now a deficiency in zinc from what I have learned causes autistic children to actually feel discomfort towards certain textures.
There is so much more that I can share with you . I used to be at my witts end with my son , and it is still a rough road , but we have come so very far from where he used to be . My son still has problems with speech , but everyday the little guy amazes me with a new breakthrough . I have completely revamped his diet, switched to the Specific Carbo Diet ( which helps starve the yeast ), introduced probiotics that were developed for individuals with digestive tract problems , and numerous other things , and it has done so much for him .
Consider yourself lucky that your son thinks he is spiderman , he is using his imagination which is great!!!My son has just starting playing imaginative roles the last few months.
Introduce one food at a time in little increments . Let his taste buds get used to the texture , do not force him to eat it all. Your patience and unconditional love will pay off in the long run . Using pecs is an excellent idea , always tell him what it is that he is asking for , then make him ask for it . He will probably get frustrated , do no loose hope and make him ask for what he wants . In time he will overcome the frustration and put words with pictures. Autistic children tend to be visual.We tried ABA for a year and it helped tremendously with my sons tantrums . Because he was not verbal he would get very frustrated . MY ABA therapist have taught me so very much , and I still use their methods to this day.
Much luck and god bless, and please feel free to contact me.



answers from Victoria on

Hang in there momma, our nephew has autism. he is 18 months or so. Hope this site helps you, research what types of foods he should eat. Its important.



answers from San Antonio on

A large percentage of children under the autism spectrum struggle with one or more of the following nutritional problems:
* Poor diet
* nutritional deficiencies
* food allergies
* feeding problems
* food intolerances
* chemical sensitivities
* gastrointestinal disorders
* exposure to neurotoxins
* frequent illness and infections
* negative drug and nutrient interactions.

Children with autism also often have dysfunctional immune systems and inadequate detoxification processes. These nutritional problems place a huge burden on your child and are slowly eating away at his health and ability to function to his highest potential.

What your child eats can have a major positive or negative impact on his brain and bodily functions.

Which city are you at? Could probably recommend some resource near you should you like to inquire for further information.

My son is 20 y/o under the Gluten-Free & Casein diet.
Recommendation is usually both, not just one as there is so much involved but has helped many as this is one of the restrictive diets and with the guidance of one who specializes in this field with a nutritional intervention are usually designed to target specific issues a child may have, such as improving cognition functioning, or treating physical problems like food allergies, GI disorders, and immune and detoxification system dysfunction.

This is usually personalized around your child.

My son and many individuals under the autism spectrum who have gone this route are even expressing words nowadays with the assistance with something like PECS, visual supports or in my son's case the Verbal Behavior approach or some type of ABA combination could help your son.

There are some workshops on Feeding, ABA, the verbal behavior, etc., would be glad to send you any information.

Hope something helps.




answers from Houston on

Dear L.--I know I'm really late with my response, but I just got back from out-of-town, and when I saw your request, I HAD to respond.

My son is also autistic and speech-handicapped. He's 27 now, however, and we have no eating problems with him at all--unless you call his wanting to eat all the time a problem.

Anyway, when he was your son's age, he, too, was very rigid in what he would eat. He wanted the exact same for lunch and dinner, no matter what the rest of us were eating. His pediatrician told me not to worry, but just let him have whatever he would eat, even if it was ice cream three times a day.

My advice to you would be: Let you son eat whatever he wants. As you have already found out, he will tire of it. Now, how to get him to try new foods: Tell him that someone he loves/admires wants this food and said he could have some. With my son, it was his great-grandmother. I would say, "This is Mama Tora's ham. She said only you could have some." He bought it hook, line & sinker. It didn't matter if the rest of us were eating it, too. He was super-impressed that she wanted him to have it.

To this day, he talks about "Mama Tora's soup" and "Mama Tora's spaghetti"--you name it.

I hope this will work with your little one. The only other thing I can say is: KEEP WORKING WITH YOUR SON AND NEVER GIVE UP! Things WILL get better. Insist that your school district help you. (By the way, is he in Early Childhood classes? He definitely should be. You can get a lot of help from the special ed counselor if you insist on it and don't take "no" for an answer.)

Hang in there, L.. God gives these special little ones to only the most capable Moms. If you don't feel capable right now, just keep working at it. You will be. Feel free to email me at any time.




answers from Houston on

I have a son dx'd with mild autism...he is almost 3. I feel your pain about the communication challenges. We used some signing, but the pivotal point was increasing his speech therapy services. Is it poss. for you to get more therapies (esp. in speech) going per week? With autistic kids, the earlier the better for interventions and the more they get the better. Autistic kids can also be very picky eaters (my son included)...I make sure to give him lots of pedisure in addition to the sparse meals/items i can get him to eat. He loves the pediasure (vanilla w/fiber) and it is a meal supplement so he is getting the vitamins/etc.
There are many Autism Societies and support groups...if you need information, I can send you some...
my email:



answers from San Antonio on

You need to contact the Brighton School and get in a support group and let them help you. From our friends who have kids with the same disorder it's common for these kids to only eat from a limited group of foods. You are not alone.


answers from College Station on

I highly recommend you look at this book: Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Brock. I was amazed the how much things changed for us just by giving our sons Acidophilos...really. As for the eating, he may be playing a little control game, remember he isn't at all dumb... on the other hand, they tend to obsess over one thing till they've mastered every aspect and some other thing atracts their attention.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches