Overeating and SPD, adult

My 10 year old son has recently been diagnosed with SPD. I recognize that I have it too. One particular characteristic is that I seek sensation with food. I have been in a 12 step program for overeaters for many years, and have maintained a normal weight, but still crave intense flavors and textures.

For example, I like food to be very chewy or crisp or to have a combination of textures. I like to gnaw on tough food and I lick my fingers, though I maintain decorum in front of others! I also recognize that I like to feel very full, which I manage by eating rather large quantities of vegetables. I talked to my son's OT about this. She suggests that proprioception is strong along the GI tract.

Many people in my 12 step program eat simple food (plain chicken, baked potato, broccoli, with just a little butter) to avoid triggering the addiction, much like an alcoholic never tastes alcohol. I've taken a different approach, more combinations, textures, flavors, but sometimes it triggers my overeating. I'm wondering how to manage this with my new awareness. Should I deliberately create the textures and flavors? Or should I accept that I'll always want more sensation and that maybe I'll never be quite satisfied?

Has anyone else had these experiences and dealt with these questions?


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Jan 03, 2019
Teen with spd
by: Sue

Hi im sue i have a teen with spd she is 5,ft 5 already at 14 and already taller than me and gets upset if i try to reduce her food intake ive had to put a padlock on the pantry .and have a few times woken to her eaten a whole hand off bananas plus apples .she cries And hits me when i wont allow her to have junk food im getting worried .

Oct 22, 2016
my daughter, age 10, is never full
by: Anonymous

My daughter has a variety of very minor sensory issues. They have gotten better as she has gotten older. She has always confused many stomach pain/sensations and fatigue with hunger. She never feels full. I suspect she is getting feedback that is satisfying from "chewing".

She was never skinny, skinny - but really okay until age 7. Between 8-10 her weight (and height) have escalated a lot and she is now officially chubby. This is hard, we are religious about not having junk in the house. She doesn't eat fast food or drink soda (good sensory side effect - can't tolerate carbonation). When I do give her "snacks" they are in 100 calorie bags.

The issue is more that she can eat an adult sized meal. If she doesn't eat enough, she really becomes miserable. She's willing to eat cut up peppers (doesn't like carrots) for days. She can eat an entire head of broccoli at dinner time. It's really distressing, because I don't know how to help her feel satisfied. We simply tell her now that she is matured to "look at her plate, and stop when you see that this is enough food." Any recommendations or insight out there?

Apr 26, 2016
Concerned Mom
by: Anonymous

My daughter is 9 years old and was diagnosed with SPD at age 3. I came across your entry because I am so concerned about this same issue with her. She is not overweight at this point because she is super active but I am very scared that it will catch up with her. Just last night she ate 4 sloppy joes (manwich) even after 2 full glasses of water and stopping to eat an orange. I don't want to give her a complex about her body but I want her to be happy. I think she just doesn't know when she feels full. She eats twice as much as my 6 ft husband! What do I do?

Feb 28, 2011
Overeating and SPD
by: Anonymous

We've struggled with our 12yr old son on so many levels and have recently had SPD suggested to us by his case worker.( He is currently being assessed due to his sensory responses and his overeating). Reading your comments has been a bitter-sweet experience because we've always felt guilty about his food intake. He is overweight but only eats about 7 different foods. He is never full and can binge eat if allowed. He also has asthma and allergies and I'm wondering if anyone else out there can identify with with this along with SPD,??

Apr 10, 2010
overeating and SPD, Teens!
by: Elaine

I hope you receive this comment.
I was very interested to read your post.
I am convinced that my 15 year-old overweight son overeats because of his underlying sensory processing difficulties. It was discovered when he was very young that his "stuffing" was due to lack of sensation in his mouth. He still has a very weak gag reflex.

I was wondering if you or anyone else had any tips for teens--
Might oral stimulation prior to eating help?


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