Monday, September 21, 2009

Chew your food!

My son has become a pocket gopher. I'm already wrought with worry because he's underweight and we need to get some pounds on him. He's not an overly picky eater, but he's developed a serious habit. He stores food in his cheeks and not just a little of it.

When his dish is empty he shows it to me with pride and I commend him. Then it's off to play. But not so fast. I have to make him sit back down and finish the bulging mouthful he has. On a couple of occasions I have found him playing with his toys 15-30 minutes later with a golf ball sized bulge on the side of his face. He never finished that last bite.

So what is he doing? Storing it as a snack for later? I asked him about this, curious to his logic. Well, asking him only upset him. He doesn't know why he does it, he just does it. He also doesn't like talking about how he feels. So all I can do really is just make him sit at the table until his mouth is as empty as his plate.

Past that, we may never know completely why our children on the autism spectrum do everything that they do. Most of it has to do with sensory of some type. Maybe it just feels good to have something stuffed in his cheek? Needless to say, our kids can come up with some strange habits. If you don't wind up scratching your head in wonder at some things your child does, well, you're likely not paying enough attention.

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