10y old boy who won't eat
R is a strong healthy 10-year old boy with Down Syndrome. He attends the local primary school and is integrated with the other kids. He's sociable, likes to help the teachers and watches over the younger kids. He's good at sports and likes music.
He ate normally until the age of two, when he gradually started to refuse food. from then till about six he became continually more fussy until he eliminated all solid food from his diet, with the exception of rice biscuits & Vegemite.
He also will not give up the bottle. He got by over the years on a non-allergenic baby formula, and fresh-juiced apple/carrot which he enjoyed, but recently went off. In recent months his Paediatrician changed him to a formula (Ensure) which continues to keep him in good health.
We have now spent years talking to medical people, (non of whom know where to even begin), speech therapists & therapists who specialise in eating disorder (the last one told me he was the toughest case she ever saw!), fussy eaters groups, and many searches on the Internet. The teacher's aids at the school have also put in a heroic effort over the years to encourage, bribe, de-sensitise, cajole and otherwise induce him to at least try a bite or a lick!
His school provides a teacher's assistant who was a trained nurse, and also had ten years working in an institution in Sydney for children with behavioural disorders. She, and other teacher's aids have spent the last few years trying every trick in the book.
Fortunately he is strong and healthy and growing at a normal rate but we are faced with the prospect of a boy going into high school, still with an eating disorder & still taking milk from a baby's bottle. We had expected that this 'problem' would have solved itself years before.