a balanced diet

my great granddaugher is 4yrs of age and has been diagnosed with autism.we are having great differculty trying to get her to eat a proper meal,her diet consists of crisps,cerial[sometims],baked beans,[again somtimes,]and grapes,if we don't feed her these things,she would happily go without.we are so worried,as she is starting mainstream school this year.

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  • I know how you feel, my granddaughter was exactly the same at that age, and unfortunately she still is, she is now 18 years, she was diagnosed late when a teenager actually, no medical doctors would listen to my daughter or myself, they said she would grow out of it, she didn't , I would go to gp or find a austisim support group in your area, demand some help, let me know how you get on. Annette

  • Hi

    My son (now 22) use to be just the same at that age. He was undiagnosed then so I had no idea why he only ate a few foods but I now know that many autistic children are the same and it is to do with sensory difficulties. It did gradually improve and he is now a strapping young man who eats most things. I read a good review of this book recently. I have not read it myself but thought at the time it sounds like just what I needed back then. What to feed an asperger by Sarah Patten amazon.co.uk/What-Feed-Aspe...

  • i would like to thank the two members who took their time to reply to my problem about my granddaughters diet

  • Hi, you are so right to be focusing on her nutrition. I have a son diag. with Asperger's - he also has a limited diet. One study at least has found that around 25 percent of children with autism have restricted eating, and it tends to link with anxiety and sensitivity to things like touch, sound, smell.

    My experience is that you have to feed the things they like, but try to add to them, and also somehow get the missing nutrients into her. You don't say what she drinks. Water? Pure orange juice? Milk? I live in the UK, and we saw many dieticians and some consultant gastro enterologists (3) but none of them took the trouble to sit down and work out what the missing nutrients were in my son's specific diet. You might be able to find a private dietician who will do that. You might have to sit down with a dietician and say: "Tell me what's missing! Don't treat her as an average child, don't give me advice for an average child, this is a bizarre diet! Look at her, specifically!" Otherwise you will have to do it yourselves.

    Iron is one very important and obvious missing ingredient - this is a vegetarian diet. That's so important for her. Vitamin D - can you get her into the sunshine? I used to grind up supplements and hide them in my son's food, but it was difficult. If she will drink milk shakes you might be able to hide supplements in that.

  • Hi, I have only just read this so am late with a reply but I hope it helps a little.

    I have a grown friend who has neither Aspergers or Autism. But, and this is the important bit, he has lived his entire life eating nothing but cereals.

    I was amazed when I first saw his kitchen for it contained nothing more than every kind of cereal available along with a fridge full of milk.

    When I questioned his mum about his eating habits she said that he had always been the same, from the time he could ask, he has had nothing but cereal with milk. So worried was she that she took him to a doctor who referred him to a nutritionist who told her the following:-

    As cereals are fortified with iron and vitamins and are taken with milk, several times a day, your son is getting everything he requires to grow big and strong and healthy. . . And he did, grow big and strong and healthy. He still lives on cereals and milk as does one if his three children. He has since been told on more than one occasion that many people would do well to follow his lead.

    So don't fret, you have her age to your advantage as you can educate her not to eat cereals coated in sugar and hopefully bypass that addiction. Just enjoy who she is and worry less about what she is, (hopefully that makes sense).

    Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

    Helen

  • Well, I have to say, I completely disagree with the doctor who claimed that everything you need is in cereal and milk! Total madness.

  • Have a look at GAPS Syndrom (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) - theres a great book by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride on the subject and it could help your granddaughter if she has gut problems (which can affect the brain).

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