So I think my 19 yr old has an eating disorder/autism spectrum disorder

So my 19 yr old has been an extremely picky eater since he started solid foods as an infant. He has never eaten vegetables of any kind, or potatoes of any kind. He finally tried french fries when he was 14...but they must be perfectly done and not seasoned at all. He pretty much only eats meats (if they're seasoned more sweetly than savory), eggs, cheese, breads that are fairly sweet and have no hint of grains in them, rice, he'll eat pasta if there are NO vegetables in it. He will eat most kinds of junk food. He will not take a multivitamin. A lot of times he turns his nose up at foods for no understandable reason. I'm fairly sure he has a sensory integration disorder: he's always been very sensitive to noise, activity, texture (still must have a soft fuzzy blanket to sleep, can't tolerate sheets for instance). He gets very irritable if we go anywhere noisy or chaotic. When he was little his dad used to force feed him when he refused to eat what he was given. After some searching I'm pretty certain he has Avoidant/Restrictive food intake disorder. Also due to his total lack of social skills, black and white thinking, total reliance on routines/getting upset when things are changed, inability to branch out on interests, inability to understand/express his feelings and thoughts, combined with his incredible ability with mechanics, maths, science, technology (seriously incredible); I'm pretty certain he's got either Asperger's or high functioning autism.

The problem is that I can't get him to even try looking for a job, I can't afford to feed him what he likes (it would mean making 2 meals every day). He's dysfunctional enough that if he were on his own he would end up homeless and starving. He has skipped every dinner for the last 3 weeks because it was stuff he can't eat. He's only eating less than 500 calories a day. He also has a writing disability in written expression and dysgraphia, so even filling out job applications is horrid for him. He's a good hard worker, but his social skills are so poor and he's so socially anxious that he will not go ask anyone for a job. I can't have him just sitting on my couch playing on his laptop though...but I'm not sure what to do. I'm trying to get him to apply for medicaid but he's finding the paperwork too daunting and confusing. They also don't do global assessments on adults around here, and not sure medicaid would even cover it.

All during school (from kindergarten on) he was never diagnosed with autism, but he had an IEP based on emotional disability and disorder of written expression. The supports they gave him were the same they would use for someone with autism. He was treated as if that was the issue, and it worked.

So now what do I do?


Well-Known Member
Sounds like he needs an evaluation and may need disability and the services that come with it. Adults can get services too. If he is on the spectrum, through no fault of his own, he may not be able to totally make it alone, but he can become indepdent from you with adult supports. Contact your local aging and disabilities. That's what I did, but I did it while Sonic was in high school to get him ready for adulthood. It's not too late to start doing it now. He can live a pretty normal life, but not at your house without services. He will never experience real life if you don't get other people to help him so he can move out, have help finding a job, and get him other supports. My son has made amazing progrss, far beyond what anyone ever expected a nd he is on the spectrum.You can not expect your son to act like other young adults if he has that particular disability. He is different and, unlike most young adults,you will have to get him the help he needs. He is develomentally delayed. He thinks different than other people.

Aging and Disabilities...every county has one. That's what you need. That's the "go to" place.
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