Aspergers and weight : LUSENET : Asperger Adult Resources : One Thread

My son is 9 years old and has been diagnosed with Aspergers. We are currently in the trial and error stage of finding medications that help him both to concentrate and cope with external stresses. One of our biggest concerns is his lack of growth. He is oncredibly thin and weighs less than 50 pounds. He eats at meal times but has little desire for snacks. Id this an Asperger releated problem or might we be dealing with another disorder? This is my first time at this site and I am comforted by the thought of other people in similar situations to talk with. I appreciate any and all res

-- Bruce A. Korn (, January 31, 2000


My doughter is also 9 years old and has just been diagnosed with AS. She is also incredibly thin, and has no need or desire for snacs like my other 3 children have. I have read that AS- children can have eating-disorder. My doughter is very "sensitive" for new food, food made by others, "have you tasted this food??", she often asks. "Can this food be poisened??" " Is it safe to eat this?" She is also very "interessted" in health and is very afraid of beeing sick. She was loosing weight, and we had to talk with a doctor and a psycologist to make sure the eating-problem did not get any further. Good luck to you! --Grethe Bjornas

-- Grethe Bjornas (, February 03, 2000.

When I was a kid, from the time my memories start at 5, to adolescence, I was VERY thin. My parents had a rule what we all had to clean our plates before we could leave the table, but I could simply not do it! Meals took an hour or more, with no one left at the table but my mother and I, locked in some kind of battle of wills. Only in my case it was not a matter of will, I just could not do it. Finally a rule was instituted: I only had to finish half. That helped, I got to eat what I wanted, and not try to force it, but I was REALLY skinny! And, I was active, exploring all over the yard and neighborhood alone, climbing trees, etc. A healthy appetite came with puberty. I still don't know why I had trouble eating, maybe I could not handle the feeling of fullness? I don't know. But, I did have certain foods that revolted me, peas, lima beans, cooked carrots, cooked green beans, probably a couple of others I can't remember right now. And, there were some strange things I liked - pie crust mix, dry cat and dog food, "calf manna" which was a vitamin/mineral suppliment for our horse, and all kinds of plant stuff like young avocado leaves, wood sorrel, Natal plums, etc. I did end up growing to the same height as my "normal" sisters, and only an inch or so shorter than my brother, I didn't end up being markedly short or anything. There is a theory that people who eat less when they are growing up tend to live longer if that's any comfort. I remember my mother referring to my legs as "stiltlike" so I bet I was pretty thin!

-- Alex Carter (, February 20, 2000.

My 10 yr. old son has pronounced preferences(a polite euphemism), though his near-phobic reactions("yuck!")to certain foods seem utterly commonplace, judging from the behaviour of his typical classmates. He does, though, reject certain foods solely on the basis of appearance or texture.All this has had no effect on his weight or growth, both of which are typical. With respect, I'm wondering whether your efforts to control one set of problems(largely behavioural)through medication might be exacerbating another(eating and nutrition).It's not an unusual paradox.Without getting too anthropological, food, eating and the social customs surrounding them tend to be subject to expectations and norms. AS kids often need some latitude and understanding when it comes to what they eat and when they eat. Loosening the usual mealtime regimen actually allowed us to bring our son back to more conventional eating habits.

-- Gary Watson (, March 12, 2000.

Well speaking from experience (I have aspergers), your son may be more interested in snacks if you find out what he likes, and bring it to him from time to time. We tend to be pretty single single minded about things, and I've found that even today (I'm a 21 year old University student) I often forget/neglect to eat even if I'm starving, as it would interfere with whatever I find myself wrapped up in at the time. Also when I was young, I would from time to time complain about being hunger only to have my mother offer me things that she felt I should be eating (ie stuff that I hated ), and when I rejected her offerings she would just tell me that I must not really be hungry. I don't know if this holds true for all people with aspergers, but as a child I wouldn't eat anything I even remotly disliked, no matter how hunger I was.

-- anon (, June 09, 2000.

I wasn't interested in eating at that age, either. Unfortunately, I also had fairly severe hypoglycemia.

Even to this day, one side-effect of pursuing an obsessive activity is, for me, losing my appetite.

Later in life I started to gain some weight, however (within the past few years, I'm 27 now). I've been on Weight Watchers. Since there is a *minimum* intake requirement as well as a maximum, this has helped me regulate my eating so I now no longer undereat, nor overeat.

P.S. as anyone with experience dieting knows, undereating can contribute to obesity later in life because the metabolism gets confused.

-- A. F. Wilson (, April 24, 2001.

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