Picky, with pica

Sam ingesting food hasn’t always been too much of a problem. Until he was about 18 months he would eat most family meals with us. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this was the time that his autistic traits started to show themselves more. For example he used to spin and spin for minutes at a time and seem barely dizzy, he would walk on his tip toes a lot. Little things that I must have heard about which made me more sure of his autism.

At that point Sam would only eat dry cereal for breakfast, not very much for lunch; maybe toast-I can’t remember and every night for months I’d make a tiny pan of tuna mayo pasta.

Now though he is a lot better with what he eats; it is still very limited. A chocolate brioche for breakfast, chocolate spread sandwich or another brioche for lunch. Dinner is where we are having the most success though some of the more health conscious of you will recoil in horror; we rotate pizza, burger and nuggets though last weekend after he shouted ‘hot dog’ at the sausage on Stu’s breakfast I got him some hot dogs which he ate with gusto!! Well sort of!

Then today in Morrisons I put some corn on the cob in the trolley. He wanted it, so I gave it him!

He’s had another tonight! That is the only veg Sam has eaten in years. We are winning!! You can’t force a child with autism to eat something they don’t want. He won’t eat it if he’s hungry. People with autism would go hungry for a variety of differing reasons. I think for Sam it’s all about texture. Which leads me on to pica. Sams paediatrician thinks he probably has it. I’m sure of it. What is it:

“Pica is a pattern of eating non food materials, such as mud or paper, and is most common in people with developmental disabilities, including autism.”Definition: kidshealth.org

Sam has eaten mostly wood chips, Sand and mud. Lots and lots of mud, especially when we were doing the garden. He will put anything in his mouth. He seems to like the crunchy feeling through his teeth. It’s a sensory experience for him. Sensory feedback, he seems to enjoy it. He nearly got his mouth round Connor’s birthday candles last week. That was a close call I tell you they’d only just been blown out 😳

My son turns his nose up at most things but doesn’t mind eating mud or licking door handles, windows, car doors or gates!! You’ve got to love an autistic brain. And laugh. Keep laughing 😂💙

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