Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Autistic Boy Can't Put Food in His Mouth

--> I work with a boy with autism who is able to scoop and finger feed, has good fine motor/motor planning skills but is unable to put food in his mouth.  At meal times he sits with his caregiver (school staff or mom) and will scoop or pick up his food with his fingers, but when he gets a few inches from his mouth he freezes.

He will stick his tongue out to touch the food (frequently), but needs someone to push his hand to put the food in his mouth.  When you push his hand he resists so it's almost a fight to get the food in his mouth.  If you leave the boy with the food inches from his mouth he will scream and try to grab the caregiver's hand to help him get the food in his mouth.

If you ignore him he will get mad and pound the table and continue to try to get the caregiver to help him.  The boy seems to like to eat and will eat large amounts of a variety of foods.  From time to time if he is distracted he will be able to feed himself independently.

The boy's mother reports that he started this behavior over the summer after having a mitochondrial crisis.  I have found food issues with kids with autism linked to mitochondrial issues but not like this.  Anyone have any ideas? 
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