Extreme Aproach

by Adrian

Counter to what everyone has told me, I resorted to forcing my 5 year old son with Autism to eat.

Background: I followed the guidance from therapists and SP. ED. teachers, but this wasn't working, and my son was not getting any protein. My wife was at her wits end, so I took up the task telling her to leave me with him, alone, without any distractions or secondary emotional support. Face to face, I cut up the chicken in quarter to half inch pieces. The resistance was somewhat severe, but once he understood, he wasn't going anywhere, and I wasn't going anywhere, and that we were going to eat meat, he reluctantly complied.

Face to face was extremely important so that I could demonstrate in front of him how to chew with his teeth. I had a full cup of water available to him to frequently drink as he wanted. What I found was that chewing food is a learned skill. So, I had to teach him how to chew. After a two night of doing this alone with him, on the third night, we did this with the family present at the table for dinner. I still had to sit face to face, but he was accepting of this. No one in the family was allowed to console him in his outcries to Mom. Mom simply told him to eat his dinner. No Sympathy. This is tough love, but it worked.

I praised him when he started to take the spoon and feed himself allowing him to have some portion of control. I prioritize what he ate. Protein first, and then after he finishes his meat, anything else. We're still in the early stages, but I think this will not only improve his diet, but speech as well. We also supplement his diet with gummies (vitamins, b complex, omega 3, probiotics) and fruit flavored magnesium tablets. I know I will be criticized for being an ogre to my son, but at the end of the day, it's my job and I have to get it done. I've tried the "Experts" way with zero success.

Now I have to do it my way, and as a former Paratrooper, I don't know the words quit or can't, just do. All children are different requiring different approaches, so if you can manage to get your autistic child to eat meat on your own the way the "Experts" think you should, good for you. If not, my method works, but it may not be right for your situation.

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