More fun with food issues and pilfering

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by nerfherder, Apr 11, 2013.

  1. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Yesterday I caught her in the orchard stuffing her mouth and pockets with 6 month old rotting apples. (How she finds them, she must be digging them up?

    Today we found she'd taken Blacksmith's earbuds, right off his backpack, on Sunday when she was last sweeping the floor by there.

    Tuesday I have the Intake evaluation appointment with the county Mental Health office. Frankly at this point I don't feel entirely safe. It's not an immediate and direct physical danger kind of situation, but her tantrums are at the point where I either let her hurt me, or I have to control her tantrums physically (so no other kids get hurt, so nothing gets broken, so she doesn't get hurt or put herself in danger, or get the neighbors calling the sheriff because of the screaming) which means either I end up with bruises and bites or she ends up triggering a mandated report because of her comments about the incident. It's happened 3 times in the last 12 months, and while so far everything's had no bad outcomes, I figure it's only a matter of time, and the odds, before someone gets in serious trouble.
  2. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Right now she's sitting, coloring her recipe pages (obsessive behavior) and stimulant-ranting on how she misses watching "Dogma" with her dad (yes, this was AFTER I told him NO VIOLENT SUPERHERO OR DEATH MOVIES), how she wants her MP3 player back, how she wants new earbuds for Mayday. The obsessive stimulant-ranting, I know it's just using her mouth to make the sounds that go with the Wants in her head, but sometimes it drives me nuts.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Just a thought, has she been tested to make certain her obsessive eating issues aren't due to a deficiency? (you'd be surprised)

    What you call obsessive stimulant-ranting I called ticcing.......because it is sort of the same thing. When Travis was doing this.....well, to be frank, it drove me nearly over the edge. I had him go to his room for ticcing behavior that grated on the nerves of those around him. Not because he was in trouble, but simply because it grated on everyone's nerves. Once he was finished ticcing he could come out again. I know it kept me from losing it with him more than once. (my issue, not his) Plus side to it, it drew his attention to his tics verbal and non verbal......and I saw a reduction over time. He doesn't tic very much these days unless under stress.

    Travis' obsessive eating started with junk foods. I removed junk foods/snack foods from the home. Then it morphed into any from scratch foods that were edible and tasty on their own. Soon as he was working, he had to replace anything he swiped. Enough of that and he stopped swiping completely.......instead bought his own stuff to gorge on........until it started making him sick. Now he doesn't do that very much either. Dunno what "creative thing" I could come up with when it's to the point of getting into the orchard.

    Hopefully you can get that evaluation.

  4. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    That's basically how it started, we started removing stuff, and at this point the only thing she associates with tummy upset is gorging on prunes. And she was mad at ME when she finally indicated she made the connection! :)

    We haven't had her tested for any deficiencies. On the general side of things, the behavior didn't change much after she ate most of that big bottle of children's vitamins. And she gets an adult multi daily. No other symptoms - good clear skin, good vision, good fingernails, shiny healthy hair - if they suggest it, I'll go along with it.

    I'm not going to allow the "you want it, you buy it" behavior, because she's hard enough to control at 125 lbs. I guarantee she'll be 150+ before she gets to figuring out what makes her sick. That's way more than I can lift or drag, and it's not fair to expect Blacksmith's help at this point.

    And sending to her room is a tantrum trigger, requires physical intervention, see above, rinse, repeat. :) At this point we're talking about motion sensors, remote video cameras, electrified fence at the extreme end (cattle-type doesn't hurt or injure, but boy is it a nasty sensation!) This isn't just about eating snacks we're growing, we want to get up to small scale commercial - and we can't if we've got Kiddo breaking in and eating our crops.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Thinking more mineral deficiency than vitamin.......and OTC vitamins don't do much to help a real deficiency anyway, different dosages. Her going for possible rotten food made it come to mind. I had a neighbor once who covertly ate dirt and chalk. She was in her mid-late 40's. She happened to let it slip in conversation once. I suggested she tell her doctor and be tested, sure enough.......Took a week or so for the script mineral to kick in, she felt like a new person and the cravings were gone.

    Thanks to my kidney issues I have a severe deficiency of B6. I could eat OTC B6 by the handfuls and still not get the dosage I get in script form. I need a high dose in order for it to be absorbed at all. OTC is better than nothing........but there is a vast difference.

    Seems your difficult child is more severe than Travis was........and he was hard enough to cope with when those behaviors were daily. Nor did I have violent behavior to contend with.

    Do they have any residential places near you where she could go if the evaluation shows it would not be wise for her to remain at home? (thinking long term as opposed to short term)
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Lord rotten apples!

    I have to say that I dont think the electric fence around either your approved yard or the orchard. It might be cheaper to fence the area that people are allowed to be in because Im supposing that the orchard is rather large. Though a simple electric fence isnt all that expensive to string. I have a box in my bathroom closet that we used to put around our property to keep dogs away from our chickens. We just strung two wires on wooden stakes around the property and no more dogs. The only issue is you have to keep weeds away or the wires short out.

    I have no clue how to deal with the verbal stims. Never had to deal with them. I know they have to be driving you nuts.
  7. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Problem is, the Call Of Sugar is Strong in this one. :) She'll climb fences and trees, dig holes, do whatever she can to get *at* the whatever. She was hopping the fence on the west side of the property to get at the neighbors' raspberries last spring. And she's strong and agile, but not terribly graceful - she breaks down fences to get at what she wants, if she has to and can do it quickly.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    She'd have been awesome back in Neanderthal times...
  9. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Hi! I just read this and while I am probably wrong or she's all ready been tested for it...

    I can't help but ask if she's been tested for Prader Willi syndrome?

    my friend's niece has it and the food obsession and ranting and emotional symptoms are part of the syndrome. At 125lbs it's probably unlikely-but may be worth a visit to an endocrinologist if it hasn't all ready been ruled out.

    Just a thought- even if she doesn't exhibit the physical appearance hallmarks. My friend's niece does not have the physical hallmarks.
  10. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    That *should* have been ruled out in the kariotype she had at age 2, I've been asked that before - and she *does* get full. It takes about a quart of food mass for her to push back and say "I'm full." And her dad's noted for eating until he can't, and it was gross there for a while - he'd know he was "full" when his hiatal hernia bulged out like a softball under his shirt. :) But I guess it's worth looking up to see if there's a recessive or mosaic/chimera type expression possible.
  11. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    Insane: Yeah, I just hope if civilization collapses, it happens when she's living next to an orchard. :) Or an abandoned WalMart. :itwashim3:
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    NH, I don't know if this is helpful, but we had a student like this once, severely autistic but a normal weight. He would RUN and grab anything he could, anytime, we always had to be holding his hand.

    I want to say compare to that scene in Helen Keller, just grabbing and stuffing things in his mouth like that. Once on the way to the bus, he ran into a classroom that had leftover cupcakes on a table..(he was inside that room in the blink of an eye) and grabbed them all and jammed them in his mouth to the horror of the other kids in an instant.

    Here is what we suggested. Go to a buffet. Teacher took the student and his family to a buffet. At first all heck broke loose as you can imagine. He could eat one thing at a time, nicely on a plate and then get more. That didn't work so well the first time, everyone left early and in tears.

    Teacher told them to do it again. The next time they went without her and they said it was better. Expose her to overabundance and show her the correct way that way, instead of too little food (in her mind too little) that leaves her wanting more.
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    UAN that is a good idea.

    Now, it was never a thought out planned thing................ But come to think about it, my mom took Travis to buffets a LOT whenever she was around him and actually encouraged him to eat all he wanted. (if you saw how my stepdad ate you'd understand) I dunno how many times he ate himself into a major painful stomach ache before learning to control portions and such under such temptation.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If you ever listen to NPR, they had a great guest who spoke on autism and mentioned why autistic kids will not eat normal foods and therefore often have deficiencies that are very hard to treat because they tend to refuse to eat normally. They sort of like a 'gray" diet more than a multi-colored, healthy, balanced diet because they don't like the texture or smell of some of the foods that are really good for us. And they taste things more intensely and smell things more intensely since most have sensory issues. They end up gorging on junk food if you let them or else when they are adults and can no longer control what they eat, they choose to eat this gray diet. Some will even eat mud or paper, but that's extreme, rather than blueberries.

    That is Sonic to a "T." Even if I take all the junk out of the house, which I often do, he finds ways to eat his gray diet. Being nineteen, I can't watch him all the time...he'll be moving to his own place in about a year anyway. He goes to work and does buy the food he wants to buy with his own money and at home it's impossible to make him eat with us. He'd rather not eat, or eat a whole loaf of white bread, than eat dinner with us. He's not being defiant. He just can't stand things like steak and vegetables. Literally, they make him throw up.

    No answers, but I thought the show was interesting.
  15. nerfherder

    nerfherder Active Member

    MM, the "Brown Food Diet" is what I call it. :) She was on that, yeah, fried starch, cheese, boiled starch, cheese, and even after we went gluten-free, casein-free I ended up stuck in the expensive and time consuming Fake Food/Lookalike Food Trap.

    And we weaned Kiddo off it about four, five years ago. Her meals are pretty consistent and consistently healthy, with variation.

    Breakfast: Multivitamin, tea if she's having a good morning behaviorally, Eggs either scrambled or fried, occasionally an herb/kale or herb/chard omelet, with sausage (I make from scratch) or bacon.
    Snack: Carrots, not free but in structured format (snack time, reward for chores completed. She really likes carrots. A lot.)
    Lunch: Salad, mayo (home made) for dressing, animal protein in some form, frequently leftovers. (Today I made mini quiches with bacon, leftover steak bits, and a coconut flour/egg white crust seasoned with salt, garlic powder and Old Bay. They were AWESOME by the way. :) )
    Snack: carrots (have I mentioned she loves carrots?)
    Extra snack for chores or good behavior: carrots (see above.)
    Dinner: Animal protein of some kind, vegetables if part of dinner, salad with mayo.
    After dinner: Usually a cup of mint or mint/rose tea (we grow it here in abundance.)

    Tree or vine fruits very, very rarely, usually once every 4 to 6 weeks. Notably, you would see her slamming it and blame it on the rarity of the occurance - but it isn't any different from how she ate them when she got them daily.

    She likes the meal routine, but obsesses about foods she can't have - and if she gets appropriately made "look alike" foods, she obsesses on those too. It's really a "d*mned if you do, d*mned if you don't" situation. And a buffet, while a good idea overall, will have too many foods that will screw her up good - and denying those will result in a very loud and messy tantrum.

    All your input and thoughts are wonderful! Thank you, and I appreciate the opportunity to track-back and consider how things have changed.
  16. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Think of anyone on a diet. We all think about stuff we can't have. Now through autism into the mix and she is more impulsive. Unless she is going to live with you forever, you won't be able to control what she eats forever. She is going to eat stuff not on her diet once she is living elsewhere, wherever that may be. I never stressed diet because of that fact. And it came true. At nineteen, I can't tell my son what to eat. Half the time I don't even know what he eats. He is away from home more than home and he gets to eat what he picks. Hint: It's not broccoli.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Another one here recommending having her tested for deficiencies. What very few people ever recognize is that MOST of the vitamins and minerals in those store bought tablets are not really bioavailable. I was horrified when I took a nutrition class and we studied the various nutrients and what our body could actually use and what was given to us in vitamins, fortified food products, etc.... Bioavailable vitamins are ones your body can use, and sadly most of the ones given as supplements are not bioavailable. The body has to work to change them into a bioavailable form or else to clean them out of us. I have known several people who worked cleaning out portapotties at various parks/construction sites/etc.... They have ALL talked about hwo shocked they were to see tons of little white pellets in the waste and then realizing that mostly it was undissolved vitamins of this or that type. Many are not in forms we can fully break down and they go through just like a rock would - in one piece, maybe a bit smaller than when they went in. Much of the measured amt of nutrients are not able to be dissolved off of the vitamin and what does get dissolved doesn't actually give much benefit.

    The vitamins that a doctor prescribes are far more likely to be able to be used by your body. You don't take the forever unless you ahve some metabolic problem. You are given a very high dose so that you can get enough of the specific nutrient and they are far more likely to be in a form your body can absorb and use. You don't get one pill with both the vitamins that need fat to be absorbed/used and the ones that need water and no fat to be absorbed/used by your body. You get one medication with the form of vitamin that you need. I may not be saying this clearly, but it is not wise to depend on multivitamins to fill any real need.

    If she is craving these foods to the point that she digs up rotting apples and eats them, then if at all possible she should be tested for deficiencies of nutrients. It is possible she has no deficiencies, but if there is one and you could fix it rather than having her eat all these quantities of rotting foods etc.... wouldn't you rather know?

    There is something to the idea that you cannot realy control her eating forever. Not unless you are going to have her living with you forever. Even then, you probably cannot stop some things.