Tuesday, November 09, 2010

The Help Wanted Sign is Out

There are several things that I deal with that I struggle over. Most of the 'crap' I can handle with a smile but a few things just get under my skin. Today I bring you Issue #1. I need your help on this one. I am out of ideas. Zippo. Nada. Zero. Craziness ensues. Please help.

The shredding of food.

Explanation: the child proceeds to tear all food into tiny bits before eating them, wiping their hands on their clothes many times, getting food all over their hands, face and body, and making a total mess of a meal.

Reminds me of a raccoon, shredding and washing food ritually before eating it.

Drives me crazy because: this child is a total mess all the time. He cannot go out in public without changing clothes if he has eaten. How can he go to kindergarten next year and eat lunch at school?

Why does he do it? anxiety? habit? sensory issues? control issues? help?????

I have tried reminding him constantly while he is eating but he seems un-aware of the behavior. Rewards and punishments have no effect. They only stress him out.

Suggestions???? Please????


Kathy said...

Can you shred the food up first so he doesn't have to? At least that would help with the mess he's making. And it would help you determine if he's doing it because of the action of it or if he really just wants his food shredded.

Diana said...

Longing to be a baby...your baby? Try feeding him on your lap for a little while??

Reba said...

I wish I had advice. We still use a "mat" on the table for our first grader for that reason. And we insist she wear a bib on some meals. I will be waiting to read all of these suggestions too. :)

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Hmmm, that is a tricky one! My "guess" is that the behavior is due to all of the choices you gave us. Can he eat larger bites? If you put a big chunk of food on a spoon can he chew and swallow? There are swallowing disorders that a speech therapist can diagnose. Possibly his teeth hurt with chewing?
I swear some days I want to put my kids in the shower to eat. Or outside. They are so messy. You could try a really big bib or wrap a plastic sheet on him to keep the mess off his clothes.
Would he let you hand-over- hand feed him? Maybe he just doesn't know exactly what to do.
Otherwise, give him soup, lol. Just kidding. I hope there is an idea you can use!

Delilah said...

I think your son has sensory issues. Our son Daniel who we have adopted form Guat had the similar issues with eating, very messy. He had many issues with eating, behavioral, coordination and with speech. We were recommened to get him on a homepatic program out of Houston.http://www.homeopathyhouston.com/
We did this program for two years for Daniel, it has improved his sensory issues and with everything that I have listed. He is going to kindergarten and can carry his tray and eat at school. He would not have been able to attend kindergarten this year if we didn't get the help that he needed. I read all the things that you have listed that you have concern for your son. The homeopathic website that I have listed can help with all those things. It was a miracle for us. If you have any questions, send me an e-mail. d.cahoon@mchsi.com

whtmtnmom said...

Hmmm..I wish I had advice for you, but Ali does kind of the same thing only she tears off huge chunks and shoves them into her mouth with whatever else is already in there. Huge mess and both hands in it though like yours. And no matter how many reminders to use her fork and "eat like a princess" (she LOVES all things princess right now), she eats with her hands. Hands not fingers! She spills her milk frequently still too. I am looking forward to the day I can make Sloppy Joes again, but I think that's a long way off. :) I'm reading your other comment-ers here too for advice. Thanks!

Natalie C. said...

it's a sensory thing wendy...caleb does it all the time and no matter what we do we cant stop him...have you seen caleb eat? it is a mess!