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Feeding Issues: What Do You Want to Know?

  • Posted on December 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

When Alex was first “threatened” with failure to thrive, I looked for information outside the clinical setting. At first, I didn’t find anything that could help me with Alex. Sure, there was generic information geared towards the needs of infants, but Alex was not an infant and sensory aversions weren’t even mentioned in the articles or database entries I could find. I was surprised and disappointed, to say the least.

Furthermore, my research about autism and diet or autism and feeding would often turn up results that I had no interest in. I’m referring to GF/CF diets, herbal supplements and the like, all claiming to alleviate or cure autism to one degree or another. Now, I readily admit we tried the GF/CF diet, which turned out to be a good way to starve our kids. (Not that we let it go that far.) After all, the reason that Alex was on the verge of failure to thrive was because he’s very stubborn about what he will and will not eat; and bread that is GF/CF is not, to Alex’s mind, actually food. (Honestly, I’d have to agree with him on that.)

Later, I stumbled across some information, but it was written by researchers for researchers or medical professionals, not for parents. Occasionally I’d stumble across a pertinent article, but rarely did it offer anything new or insightful.

Now, Alex and Ben are both doing well. They’re gaining weight. Both of them actually have a visible layer of fat around their muscles! As much as obesity is a problem in this country (and a personal problem, in my case), fat on my kids is good. They’ve got plenty of energy, which wasn’t really a problem for Ben, but it used to be a problem for Alex. They’re both expanding their diets and getting the nutrients they might otherwise lack through prescriptions of PediaSure. In short, they’re thriving.

It’s been a long road and now that we’ve traveled so far, I’m hoping to gather information from reputable sources and create a guide for others to use, the kind of guide I wish I’d had.

Along those lines: Do you have experiences with feeding issues? Would you like to share them? What questions would you like answered? Let me know in the comments or contact me directly.

Alex is on a Roll

  • Posted on August 26, 2011 at 3:58 PM

We’ve struggled with feeding issues for years.  Alex, in particular, is a very picky eater.  There’ve been days—weeks even—when it seemed like he’d only eat one or two things.  While those one or two things would rotate around a selection of about ten different things, it seemed Alex could not tolerate variety and the things he ate did not provide him with a balanced diet.  Yet, Play-Doh and blocks always seemed to be on his menu, even when food really wasn’t.

Now, we have had a major breakthrough.  As impressive as the noodles were, it seemed kind of like a one-shot deal to me.  Sure, he ate noodles multiple times and with multiple sauces, but it seemed a bit much to hope it was the harbinger of a major change.

I should have hoped, because now Alex is drinking Pediasure.  Not just once or twice, but he’s actually competing with Ben for it.  On the downside, Pediasure is rather expensive and I’ll have to buy Alex’s share myself until he gets the same kind of deal Ben has.  But…Alex is drinking Pediasure!

To put this in perspective: Alex is tested semi-regularly for vitamin and nutrient deficiencies.  But, once we have that information it can be quite a hassle to correct it.  Finding a way to get vitamin D in him took a lot of trial and error and he still hated our solution (though he did drink it).  But now, with Pediasure, he has a source of vitamins, minerals and protein that is balanced to children’s needs.  It’s great!

Things are looking up.  Alex has made some very impressive gains this summer, including reductions in aggressive behavior and improved listening skills.  I can’t wait to see the next surprise this great little guy has in store for us!