Too Reliant on YouTube to feed my Autism child
Enslaved to the screen!
So our little boy is getting increasingly difficult in the past few months. We are left feeling helpless on most days not knowing what else we can do to help him feed. As he is non-verbal, he cannot express himself with words. So the struggle each day is akin to a frustrating guessing game that we are playing to lose!
Here’s how this morning’s Guessing Game went…
- He wanted to eat my cheese toast initially, so we gave him some.
- But after one bite, he lost interest and ran off to the bedroom! Feeding failed..
- 10 minutes later, we tried with peanut butter and bread. Refused!
- So we whipped out Cocomelon Nursery Rhymes video on YouTube to get him over. Usually when we played videos on the phone for him, he would at least eat compliantly. But not this time, nope.
- We tried swapping the bread with biscuits. YESSSS – he finally opened his mouth to eat!
- Tough luck, that was the final piece of biscuit we had. Time to improvise. I toasted the peanut butter and bread that he refused earlier, thinking that could simulate the crunchy texture of biscuits. And much to our relief, my stroke of creativity was rewarded that he accepted the toasts. Phew!
Burning our hopes away
Unable to feed without YouTube running
And that would happen at about every meal time. We just don’t know whether he is hungry or what he wants to eat. We haven’t been able to get him to eat without YouTube running. And lately, even with YouTube, he has appeared to demand specific songs/videos but we could never tell which! So we would have escalated situations with frantic skipping and searching for videos until he stops whining and able to eat.
Should we starve him?
Part of me wonder if we should just starve him. Maybe he will be forced to tell us that he’s hungry? But we can’t seem to bring ourselves to deprive him of food. The very thought of us having to do that is just dreadful.
What mortifies me is that at the current rate, we are becoming too reliant on having a running screen on to have him to feed!
Update: This post was written prior to our son’s autism diagnosis. You can see the autism signs that our son demonstrated before he was 1 year old.